Many people have considered training to become a nurse, as it is an extremely rewarding career choice that is usually well paid. Research suggests that nurses can earn on average $68,450 each year, and the rate of job growth is expected to rise by another 16% by 2024. This is higher than most other occupations in America.
Although most nurses don’t enter the profession for the money, there are a number of options available to registered nurses who want to earn a little bit of extra money. Nurses have the choice of long-term or immediate opportunities ranging from nursing side jobs or travel nursing jobs to advancing your education for future employment opportunities.
How to Become a Nurse
Nursing is considered to be one of the most in-demand, satisfying, secure and overall most popular jobs in the healthcare sector. Being a nurse is not a job for anyone who is faint-hearted. Nurses have to learn to deal with death, life and everything that comes in between.
Registered nurses provide emotional support, medical care and help to educate their patients. Nursing is a rewarding career that gives you the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of others. There are also numerous options available for advancement.
To become a nurse, you are required to obtain the correct credentials and education. This includes:
- A high school diploma – you should pay close attention to subjects such as physiology, biology, and chemistry. Having an understanding of the human anatomy can really help you when you start your training to become a nurse.
- Post-secondary education in nursing – there are three options available to people who want to become a nurse. You could undertake a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, an Associate’s degree in nursing, or a Diploma from a nursing program. If you are considering undertaking a Bachelor’s degree, then these accelerated nursing programs are a brilliant choice for you. Courses range from 3 to 10 weeks in length and you will be expected to undertake 720 hours of practical work.
Once you have completed these courses, you will need to apply for a license. All registered nurses need a nursing license. You will be expected to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. If you pass this exam, you will receive your license and will be a legally registered nurse.
Where do the Majority of Nurses Choose to Work?
Most registered nurses are employed by one of the 5564 hospitals across the USA. However, due to the recent changes in our healthcare system, we have seen an increasing number of nursing jobs becoming available outside of the hospital setting. For example, outpatient clinics now deal with most patients who have chronic illnesses.
As well as acute care, registered nurses might choose to work in:
- Ambulatory care
- Community health agencies
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Home health
- Physician’s offices
- Other environments
Nurse salaries can differ hugely because of the working environment, location, job responsibilities and qualifications held by the nurse.
How to Make More Money Once You’ve Qualifies as a Registered Nurse
There are a number of ways you can increase your salary. These include:
- Complete your BSN Degree – nurses who have completed their bachelors of science nursing degree are more likely to be hired than nurses who have trained in other ways. They are often given better job opportunities too. If you are wanting to gain extra qualifications, then there are many hospitals that will offer to help support you through this process.
- Get experience in a nursing specialty – if there’s an area of nursing that you’re particularly interested in, then it’s a good idea to look into completing the right certification courses that will increase your skills and knowledge in that area. Research has shown that nurses who have chosen to specialize in a certain area earn more money than those who don’t.
- Agree to work overtime – working overtime will obviously increase the amount of money you bring home at the end of the month, but it will also show your colleagues and bosses that you’re a team player who will work extra hours when they are needed. However, you need to remember to take care of yourself if you choose to do this, as too much overtime can lead to burnout or fatigue.
- Complete an advanced nursing degree – this will definitely help you to earn more money as a nurse. You will be given the title of advanced practice registered nurse or a nurse manager. Completing this degree will allow you to work more independently.
- Take on a nursing side job – registered nurses who are wanting to make some extra money often choose to take on a nursing side job. These include teaching patients how to use medical equipment in their own home, tutoring nursing students online, teaching patient education classes, working as a camp nurse, giving flu injections at the doctors, writing content for nursing publications, helping to care for homebound patients or working extra shifts on your days off.
- Become a travel nurse – if you’ve got a bit of nursing experience behind you and you’ve specialized in a specific area of nursing, then this might be the best and easiest way to earn some extra money. Travel nurses travel to different countries and have a temporary contract. You may worry about the costs of staying in hotels while being a travel nurse, but you shouldn’t. The majority of travel nurse agencies cover any expenses you incur. Travel nursing jobs are usually the highest paying jobs in the nursing industry. Some of the benefits of travel nursing include free housing, contracted salary, bonuses, health insurance, travel reimbursements, and all the usual benefits that come with being employed.
Nursing is one of the most popular career choices around the world. Most people get into nursing to make a difference in other people’s lives. It’s a very satisfying career choice. Making money as a nurse can be tough, especially if you haven’t specialized in a certain area. Follow some of these tips above to make extra money once you’ve qualified as a nurse.