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Would a side hustle suit? Top ways for nurses to make extra money

There are always good reasons to make a little extra money - saving for a down payment on a house, paying off some high-interest credit cards, going on a vacation - but for nurses, there can be some pretty serious downsides too.

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You're probably not interested in adding more aggravation to an already stress-filled life or having even less time for family or a social life (if you're thinking, "What social life?" you're already a step ahead). So before you take on a side hustle, consider these angles:

Making extra bucks with skills you already have

Nursing skills are a great base for many of the top-earning side hustles. One popular option is moonlighting in other areas at your hospital, maybe even signing up for extra shifts via a web-based staffing management system.

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As a nurse, you're also in a prime position to work at immunization clinics, a seasonal opportunity that starts around September. "Before the flu season starts, companies, grocery stores, churches and other establishments sign up to provide flu shots," according to NurseBuff. "Nurses and doctors manage these flu shot programs. You can find advertisements for immunization nurses in newspapers and online job banks."

Another nursing side hustle that's fairly simple to tap into: Telehealth. "You can land a part-time job in this field where you can do telephone triage and provide appropriate health assistance to concerned callers," NurseBuff adds. "Some telehealth companies also offer remote health monitoring services where you can monitor vital sign readings and check the severity of reported injuries of customers through video calls."

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Medical side hustle options that require certification

Being a medical transciptionist who listens to medical reports and turns them into written versions is a great way to earn extra money, often from the comfort of home. These positions are plentiful, but there is a ramp up period. Nurses interested in medical transcribing first need to complete online courses and get certified.

Another related option is medical coding, which also requires certification. To perform the job, you "classify medical diagnoses and list the corresponding medical billing codes for proper insurance claims," according to NurseBuff. "This is critical work as you will need to put the proper medical billing codes so insurance companies can process the insurance claims of the patient."

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Consider the costs

Working two jobs can sometimes require additional expenses. "Some of those include a second wardrobe or uniform, more meals out, more gas for the car and more childcare," Richard J. St. John of St. John & Associates told the AJC. Make sure to draw up a list of potential earnings versus extra costs before you take on more work.

If you're used to working as a nurse, some side hustles can be very frustrating. Health writing, for instance, can be a good choice, but you never know when you'll have work or if it will be accepted.

Look at side hustles outside the nursing arena

There are benefits to looking beyond the medical field when you want to make extra money. For one thing, Side hustles that involve crafting or dog walking might actually help you balance the stress of working in the medical field while still bringing in extra cash. Jobs like babysitting are also popular, as many parents are happy to pay a premium to have a nurse watching their kids.

Self-employment opportunities also tend to come with lots of tax deductions, from mileage to Internet expenses, so your take-home pay ratio might be higher than average.

Prefer a long-term solution?

If you just always seem to need extra money, you might want to skip the idea of a side hustle and put all your energy into getting credentialed for one of the highest-paid nursing specialties. Yes, you'll have to evaluate that decision against the cost (both in money and work-life balance) of earning a more advanced degree. But as a nurse, you've already got a head start and, over the long term, it's always going to make the most sense to earn more as nurse.

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