How Nurses Can Make More Money
Updated: Apr 6
Nursing is a respectful career, and the reasons why people become nurses is broad, but regardless of the reasons you became a nurse, there are always ways for you to make more money as a nurse. Learning how you can make more money might not be as hard as you think. It might mean making a few adjustments to your career. Here are three ways you can start making more money as a nurse.
When you want to learn how to make more money as a nurse, you will need to first budget your original income. Being a nurse, you will most likely not have a salary position, so your paychecks will not be the exact same every week. Knowing how much money you have coming in every month, and knowing where your money needs to go is key to figuring out where you could use more or less money.
If you have debt, your focus should be on getting rid of debts to have extra money in your account, rather than going to payments. If you need help with paying off loans, credit cards, or other loans, read finance books, talk with financial advisers, and work on paying off your debt.
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Look at it this way. If you have a $400.00 car payment, imagine the $400.00 raise you will get when the car is paid for, and you have the extra spending money to go towards other things rather than a car. Paying off a car is nice because the car doesn't change once it is paid for, you still have the same car but you are now automatically richer!
#2. Start out right.
One blessing with the nursing profession is that there is a big need for nurses. It is common for nurses to work multiple jobs and work extra shifts. While the overtime is nice, and in a lot of cases needed, there are ways you can make more money that don't require you to pick up more hours. When you start your job, be extremely careful when researching what the pay structure is like in your area. Employers want good employees, but they also want to protect their bottom line. The difference of $1.00 an hour adds up to thousands a year for a full time employee. If you don't do your research, or you are just nervous about not getting the job because you think you are being too aggressive, and you start working for a low hourly rate, you will lose thousands of dollars in potential income.
Many places will give raises based upon performance on a yearly basis. This raise is usually based on a percentage of your current pay, and then added to it. If you start low, after a year of good work, even after a raise you might be worse off if you would have just started higher. 2% of 30 dollars is less than 2% of 33 dollars.
Being in an interview and selling yourself will be your first step to show your worth to the company. After you have sold yourself, if you have done your homework, you will be able to state how much money you believe you are worth compared to other nurses in the area. This will show the employer that you are at least intelligent enough to do research, and that you are aggressive enough to stick up for yourself. You don't need to be so aggressive that you are requesting more than your worth, but remember that where you start will make the difference of your paychecks for the length of your time at that location.
#3. More education.
The nursing profession is a career ladder profession. It is also a dead end job. Nursing is an interesting profession because there are ways for you to automatically make more money dependent on your schooling, yet if you don't go back to school your options have a limit. Not everybody has to go on towards a masters or doctorate, but being certified, or having extra training will provide you with either bonuses, or raises, and sometimes both. Ask your employer if there are any incentives for you to become certified, and if it will make a difference in your pay.
If you do decide to go on to graduate school, the opportunities to make more money are obvious, and you will be able to start bringing home bigger paychecks right away. The money spent on your education is always a net gain. When you spend time working towards higher education, regardless of your financial compensation, you are enlightened with knowledge, and given tangible resources that will help you land new jobs that you can sell yourself for a higher price.
#4. Slash careers.
The nursing profession has odd hours, that can make it difficult for parents to be around for every soccer game, or attend your family events on holidays. The blessing with these hours, however, is that these hours can open the doors to other professions, inside and outside of the medical field. Doing three shifts a week as a nurse, and having four days off, can give you the freedom to pursue other interests.
Lets say that you have always wanted to be a nurse, and you love your job. On your days off you spend many hours of the day cooking. You start posting your work on instagram and Facebook, and start growing a following. You start getting requests on recipes for your work and you realize if you are good at something you shouldn't give yourself up for free, so you start writing cook books. Your cook books start selling and you have now gone from a nurse to an author and entrepreneur of your personal brand overnight.
There are also opportunities to do other side hustles that can have flexible schedules that will work with your shifts as a nurse. These can include sales, marketing, freelance work online, starting an ebay business. Whatever your side hustle is, make sure it is something that you are passionate about. Your passion will give you purpose and meaning in your work, and if you work hard you will make more money.
Extra money is always nice to have, but if you need money right now you will just have to pick up extra shifts. The problem with picking up extra shifts is that there are only so many hours in a week. As a nurse working on the clock you can only physically pick up so many hours before getting burned out. If you are doing something on the side, do something worthwhile and something you have a personal connection to. This will give you time to work on something you love doing while also having the opportunity of making more money.
Whatever your situation is, work hard, do your best, and remember that money will always be a burden in your life if you are not content with where you are now. You will need to have your needs met, (and as a nurse you should be able to have a decent living), but don't forget about the simplicity of living a good life. If you are able to make your needs met with only working three shifts a week, and you can also spend time doing something you love that will also bring in extra money, then you have a win win scenario for a career.
#2. Start out right.
#3. Earn more education.
#4. Start a slash career.
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