In many ways, nursing is a thankless job. Nurses toil day and night, with long hours and limited vacation days, to provide unparalleled care to their ailing patients in hospitals and care centers around the country. Plus employers continue to add to nurses’ vast responsibilities, by taking tasks away from doctors and other hospital staff and giving nurses nearly unbearable loads.
Yet, nurses receive very little appreciation and respect, and this is especially evident in the meager salaries taken home by nurses around the country. Luckily, nurses looking to boost their income can wisely use their specialized skills and knowledge to find extra cash in these particular ways.
1. Earn Additional Degrees
It may sound time-consuming and costly in the short-term, but over a nurse’s lifetime, advanced degrees in the nursing field can double or triple their income. Additionally, the more training a nurse has, the better his or her patients fare in hospitals and care centers. There are many advancements nurses can make in their education and careers, so nurses should do plenty of research and introspection before committing to a program.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). More and more, hospitals are hiring BSNs for entry-level nursing positions, which means nurses with lower levels of education are finding it harder to get work. Plus, BSNs have a broader range of possibilities of employment, including research, consulting, teaching, and more. It isn’t difficult for diploma nurses or those with associate degrees (ADNs) to attend university for a BSN, and most will benefit substantially from the upgrade.
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). The online MSN degree simply gives practicing nurses more opportunity for advancement in the industry. Typically, an MSN will be hired immediately into management positions like chief nursing officer, nursing director, nurse administrator, and more. As one might expect, this bump in title comes with a significant raise in pay.
- Doctorate in Nursing. Nurses who boast Ph.D.s have reached the highest level of education a nurse can achieve, and usually they are incredibly specialized in their knowledge base. Unfortunately, this incredible amount of education rarely yields equal respect and salary in industry, but Nursing Ph.D.s can command fair positions at universities and colleges.
2. Add More Shifts
One of the easiest ways to grab extra cash is to pick up shifts where one is already employed. Overtime tends to pay significantly more than regular time, and it is much more convenient to return to one’s regular place of employment than endure the application and training process of a new job.
Unfortunately, nursing overtime is exceedingly difficult to obtain; at best, it is unreliable, and at worst, it is completely unavailable. However, before writing overtime off as a bad trick, nurses interested in adding extra shifts should speak with their supervisors. There may be opportunities in other areas of the hospital or care center, like laboratories, alternate wards, or even Web systems.
3. Work for an Agency
Traditional health care centers, like hospitals, clinics, or private offices, aren’t the only places nurses can find regular work. Plenty of unconventional sources look for nurses to complete routine jobs.
For example, many nurses find excellent part-time work with nursing agencies that send them to certain locations on a per diem basis. Hospitals and regular care centers sometimes have an immediate need for nursing help, so they contact staffing agencies to fill the temporary deficit. Nurses who work per diem often receive their paychecks quickly — sometimes even the same day they work.
Additionally, insurance agencies often hire nurses to verify facts about clients’ health. In order to successfully file a claim or register for coverage, many insurance providers require clients to undergo examinations by company-registered health professionals. Because the tests tend to be rather basic — they simply establish a client’s level of health — nurses are often called upon to fill these positions.
4. Perform Telemedicine
In a world governed by phones and the Internet, most people want to avoid actually traveling to hospitals and doctors’ offices with ailments, which means they are turning to digital resources with medical-related problems. To benefit from this new need, many companies are setting up telemedicine hotlines — both voice- and video-based — for laypeople with health quandaries.
Because they don’t command the salaries of full-fledged doctors but wield a respectable amount of medical knowledge nonetheless, nurses are the most common staff members of these hotlines. This is the dream side job of many nurses because it allows them to use their wisdom in the comfort of an office, and because these lines usually operate 24/7, nurses can pick and choose their hours as they please.