How to Achieve Financial Growth as a Nurse: 4 Ways

How to Achieve Financial Growth as a Nurse: 4 Ways


Did you pursue nursing as a career because you wanted to make a difference in people’s lives? That’s a noble thought. You care for the injured, sick, and dying, help people heal, and even listen to your patients’ worries.  The emotional rewards of nursing are invaluable, but many Americans feel that nurses are underpaid financially. Nurses, on average, earn $93,899/year in the U.S., which, while respectable, may not always meet the financial goals and aspirations of those in the profession.

Fortunately, there are numerous strategies you can employ to boost your earnings without compromising your dedication to patient care. Here, we’ll explore a few practical ways that will help you achieve financial growth while continuing to make a difference in the lives of those you serve.

1. Work on Weekends or Night Shifts

You can significantly boost your income by working on weekends or night shifts. Many healthcare facilities offer higher hourly wages or additional bonuses for shifts outside regular business hours. A registered nurse earns up to $12,000/year by working overtime. 

Not many nurses find working off-hours appealing since maintaining a work-life balance becomes challenging. Few nurses only opt for off-hour shifts, so the competition is less. Hence, finding opportunities won’t be a problem. 

Fewer administrative tasks accompany weekend or night shifts. Thus, you can focus more on providing quality patient care. Off-hour shifts are physically and emotionally demanding, but they offer a valuable opportunity to maximize earnings without committing to additional full-time hours.

The Baylor shift is a great option if you plan to work on weekends. This schedule option will allow you to work two-weekend shifts each week while maintaining full-time status. In other words, it combines two twelve-hour shifts between Friday evening and Monday morning. 

2. Get Certified in a Specialization

Obtaining additional certifications in a nursing specialization can significantly enhance your earning potential and career prospects. Specializations such as critical care, oncology, or nurse anesthesia require additional training and certification. These credentials demonstrate a nurse’s expertise and commitment to their field and are highly valued in healthcare settings, often leading to higher salaries and more advanced job opportunities.

Take, for example, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNP). These nurses are required all over the U.S., but their demand is particularly high in New York. The average base salary of PMHNP in New York is $145,801, with overtime pay exceeding $10,000/year. If you’re from New York, consider pursuing a PMHNP certificate program. You’ll earn a whopping sum every year. Nowadays, many universities offer PMHNP certificate programs online. Enroll yourself in those programs, so you can study without quitting your job. 

Online PMHNP certificate programs, Wilkes University explains, equip nurses with the skills required to complete comprehensive mental health assessments and provide individual, family, and group psychotherapy to patients in a professional and compassionate way.

The minimum eligibility requirement for this graduate-level program is a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree with a 3.0 GPA and a registered nurse (RN) license. 

3. Work as a Freelance Nurse Writer

If you have a way with words, working as a freelance nurse writer can help you earn additional money. With the growing demand for accurate health information, nurse writers are highly valued for their ability to translate complex medical concepts into understandable, engaging content. 

You will be responsible for curating content for medical blogs, healthcare websites, nursing journals, and educational materials. Your specialized clinical knowledge will give you an edge over writers from non-nursing backgrounds. As a freelance nurse writer, you can work from home. Thus, you can balance clinical work with writing projects with ease. A nurse writer can earn as much as $121,820/year in the U.S. That’s a good sum. To succeed, you must have the ability to meet deadlines besides strong writing skills. 

4. Become a Travel Nurse

Travel nurses tend to earn more than staff nurses—why not pursue your career as a travel nurse? Travel nurses take on temporary assignments in various regions, typically for 8 to 26 weeks, filling in for staff shortages or during peak demand periods.

These nurses are often paid higher than what nurses receive in permanent positions. You can earn as high as $151,884/year as a travel nurse. Travel nurses also receive housing stipends, travel reimbursements, and completion bonuses. This financial incentive makes it an attractive option for nurses looking to boost their earnings significantly.

To wrap things up, there are many ways you can earn extra money while excelling as a staff nurse.  Whether through off-hour shifts, advanced certifications, freelance writing, or travel nurses, you have multiple opportunities to enhance your income and achieve your financial goals. Whatever you choose, rest assured that you will thrive both personally and professionally while making a meaningful difference in the lives of your patients.

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