Learn what a shift is like for nurses in a critical access ER.
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Money is something we can all use more of, and as a nurse, there are so many ways to earn extra money. We want to pay off those pesky student loans, take our family on a beautiful vacation, or just live comfortably. I recently started my journey to become financially independent, and it has not been easy! I made some pretty big goals that include:
- Starting a $1000.00 Emergency fund
- Pay off consumer debt (Read my debt story here: https://barbaracaseyfitness.com/a-debt-story/
- Buy a home
- Get my bachelors with little to no student loans
If you read about my (debt story above) then you know we don’t have a big support system to help us with the kids so we can work unlimited hours. So I tried to come up with a few little ways to earn extra (in addition to the obvious ones) to help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be. So let’s get started!
1.Pick up extra shift (obvious I know)
So I know you’re thinking, this is obvious, and you’re right it is. But I wanted to insert a couple things here. Extra shifts are hard for us, because we just don’t have the help with our kids, but I have been able to take advantage of this a few times. Here are some points I wanted to make about this option:
- Some hospitals will offer incentives for picking up shifts. Our unit doesn’t do it very often but when they do, you can make up to $20.00 extra on the hour, and you do not have to pick up the full shift!
- Learning other units can be beneficial here. My friend works in a medical-surgical unit and they are short staffed BAD!! She told me not only are they offering incentives, but they are offering bonuses on top of it! We’re talking like $250.00 extra per weekend shift!! That’s BANANAS.
These are just a few things to keep in mind, like I said I know not everyone wants to or has the means to pick up extra, but if you do, it can be GOLD!
2. Education time
So one way I love picking up a few hours here and there is by taking some education classes my hospital offers. In addition to the mandatory classes like PALS, BLS, ACLS, etc; I take some non-mandatory classes too. Some of these classes range from 2 hours to 8 hours and can help you increase your confidence and skills. You can learn so much from these classes and make some extra money in the process. Our hospital even recently did a TNCC training and check-off, it was three days of pay plus extra money on the hour (see number three for more on this!)
3. Get your BSN or certifications
Find out if your facility offers an incentive for obtaining your bachelor’s degree. Many hospitals are moving towards wanting only bachelor degree nurses and will pay a little more for them. Our facility offers a dollar more on the hour, and while I know this does not seem like a lot, it adds up to a little over 1,700 a year. Not only does a bachelor’s degree make you more money, but it can also help you should you ever find yourself job hunting.
Also, certifications in your field can add more to that! For instance, if you are an emergency room nurse, your hospital may pay extra for you to become a certified ER nurse or to get your TNCC. Speak with your unit manager and see what your facility offers for you! Lots of times to, your facility will reimburse you for taking the courses and test after you pass! Win-Win!!
4. Other nursing jobs
So, maybe you have a little extra time, but picking up extra shifts is not an option. There are other ways you can make money while using your skills.
- Immunization Nurse: Just before flu season companies sometimes hire nurses to give out flu vaccines for the season. I have noticed more recent though that pharmacist has been giving these at big chain stores. So this may be something they are phasing out.
- Become an instructor in BLS, PALS, ACLS. This is something you can teach for others in your hospital, or if someone will donate the supplies (CPR dummies) you could do this at your own for schools, companies, etc.
- Become a first aid instructor. Places like redcross.org teach first aid and many other life-saving skills that can be used to help you earn cash teaching the same skills to others for a small fee.
- If you have children doing camp, see if they have a nurse, or have a need for one!
5. Make money through an outlet
Maybe you’re thinking that you like nursing, but you don’t really LOVE it. Or maybe some of the above tasks are not easy because, like us, you literally have no help with your kids and have to work around spouses or parents work schedule so you have a sitter. Maybe you have an outlet that you love that can help you bring in a little cash, here are a few examples of things below, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box though!
- Blog about something. If you have a true passion for something, write about it!
- Baking or cooking. If you love to bake try your hand at baking, especially for special occasions or holidays. If you cook healthy meals, offer a food prep service for other busy people. (But don’t overwhelm yourself!)
- Offer sitting services for others for date nights a night or two a week. (Only if you absolutely love the idea of it)
- Sell stuff on eBay or Mercari. This is something I am about to start because I am working on down-scaling all the stuff in my house.
Being a nurse, there are lots of options for extra income. Unfortunately some of them are hard for our family because we just don’t have people to help watch our children when we work. Our schedules now are hard, I work weekends and my husband works during the week so we can keep our kids out of daycare. It would not be bad if we lived in a slightly bigger city and daycares or preschool centers were more available, but we don’t.
I hope these tips find you in a time of need and that they provide you some value. If you have any other ideas please leave a comment below and help a nurse out!