8 Ways to Make Extra Money as a Travel Nurse

Health Carousel Travel Nursing
Share this post

Travel nurses currently have a reputation for cashing in on high pay rates and it's common to see them flaunting their earnings on social media. Still, what can travel nurses do to make extra cash while on assignment? Let' go into detail about how you can boost your income during a travel assignment.

What to Know for Travel Nurse Side Hustles

Before we dive into side hustles for nurses to earn extra cash, it’s important to consider a few items. First, decide whether you would like to work remotely or in person and if your side hustle could potentially interfere with your current assignment. If you aren’t currently on assignment, click here to view our available opportunities. You don’t want a side job to interfere with your current assignment, so it’s important to pick a job with flexibility or asynchronous work. It’s also imperative to do your research before beginning. Depending on the side job you decide to pursue, you may need to create a limited liability company (LLC) for tax purposes. Other side hustles don’t require LLCs, and you can either work as a W2 or contracted (1099) employee.

Now, let’s review some ways to make extra money as a nurse.


Cash in on that overtime pay!

Sometimes, travel nurses are able to sign up for overtime shifts while on their current assignment. This is something that can be negotiated with your travel agency beforehand. Remember that overtime is paid at a time and a half.  So if your hourly rate is $50, that would increase to $75 an hour! This also applies to specific holidays.

Picking up extra shifts doesn’t always have to be through your current travel assignment. Several travel nurses also have per diem nursing jobs at hospitals near their homes. This way, if you’re between assignments, you will always have the ability to work. Make sure you understand the requirements of your per diem job and plan accordingly, as many times you have to work at least 2 days per month. Many nurses choose to work as immunization nurses or through other low-stress outpatient healthcare services, such as telephonic nursing. Telephonic nurses typically address patient health concerns and offer health coaching and education through Telehealth.


Take advantage of bonuses!

Some nurse travel agencies will offer bonuses for referring a friend. Therefore, now might be the time to turn a fellow nurse friend into a travel nurse or reach out to old nursing school classmates. Click here to learn about our referral program!


‍Make your assignment work in your favor!

What if your assignment asks you to stay an extra month? Take advantage of extensions and make yourself available for this option. Sometimes travel nursing agencies offer increased pay or completion bonuses for contract extensions, if the demand is higher.  An extra week or more could increase your overall earnings per assignment.


Make your money work for you!

Investing sounds more complicated than it actually is and can be done virtually anywhere. The stock market is constantly fluctuating, but changes can be continuously monitored from anywhere with the internet. With investments, it is important to start sooner than later. The stock market doesn't require a minimum amount, so invest as much or as little as you would like and then sit back and watch your money grow.


Show everyone where you're at!

Everyone has a favorite YouTuber. If you don't, you have seen at least one YouTube video in your lifetime. There is a lot of talk about how much money you can earn as a YouTuber, but knowing the facts can be more difficult. It's estimated that a vlogger with at least one million subscribers can earn around $57,200 a year. Some travel nurse vloggers post about their work destinations and experiences.


‍Turn your words into cash!  

I think we have all stumbled upon bloggers that claim they earn up to seven figures a year. Whether that’s always true or not, blogging is an excellent way to earn extra income. At the same time, it's flexible enough to work on when you’re available during a travel assignment. Essentially, you get to be your own boss.


Earn money in your pajamas!

Freelance healthcare writing is how many blogs, health websites, and other online platforms get their written content. Travel nurses have a great deal of medical experience and knowledge on how to educate using "layman's" terms. There are many niches in the writing world, so pick one that fits best and roll with it. All you will need is your laptop.  


Educate others for extra income!

There are nursing students in nearly every town. Especially with the current shortage, nursing schools are aiming to push out as many nurses as possible. Tutoring nursing students can be a simple way to earn extra money as a travel nurse, as it’s flexible and can be done around your schedule. Don’t limit yourself to the nursing profession students. You can also tutor or mentor licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or biology students needing help with anatomy and physiology. Tutoring can even be offered through online platforms.

Side Hustle Pros and Cons

Side hustles can have many pros and cons. Some pros include increasing income and developing skills that can transfer to other areas. By earning extra income, you can save more money or pay off any debt you may have. Some cons include that you will be working several hours in addition to your full- time job. Depending on the side job, you may have to work over 50 hours a week, which can interrupt a good work-life balance or cause extra stress. Therefore, before starting any side job, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.

Benefits of Side Hustles

There are many benefits of side hustles, which are listed below.

  • Earning extra income
  • Ability to pay off debt or student loans
  • Professional networking
  • Increasing skills
  • Pursuing other areas of interest outside of nursing


Next, let’s review some frequently asked questions about side jobs for nurses.

How can I make extra money as an RN?

Making extra money as a registered nurse can be easy. You just need to explore your interests and find what side hustle is the right fit for you. The extra money you earn doesn’t have to be something healthcare or nursing related. You can choose to complete online surveys or participate in online focus groups to earn extra cash.

What is a good side hustle for a nurse?

You can make extra money by working as a medical coder, first aid instructor, or even a medical transcriptionist. You may need a little extra training for medical coding, but most likely, this will be minimal because of your nursing education and experience. Nurses also are excellent freelance health writers and health coaches.

What RN position makes the most money?

There is not a specific area of nursing where registered nurses can make the most money. Pay varies depending on location, nursing specialty, demand, and job type. Some specialty areas where nurses typically earn extra shift differentials are critical care, the emergency room, or the operating room. Travel nurses often earn extra pay in all specialties since they are contracted employees.

How can a nurse make 6 figures?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses made an annual salary of $77,600 in 2021. Depending on their assignment, nursing specialty, and the recent increase in demand, most travel nurses make more than this per year. It’s estimated that travel nurses earn over six figures a year without a side job. If you are not a travel nurse, by having a side hustle or picking up overtime shifts, you more than likely will easily make over six figures per year. 

There are many creative ways to earn extra money while on a travel nurse assignment. Travel nurses are resourceful, intelligent, and adaptable to change and diversity. A travel nurse who sets their mind to earning more income during a travel assignment will find a way to do so.

Learn More about Travel Nursing with Us

Whether you're a current or new travel nurse and looking for new travel nursing opportunities, connect with an HCTN recruiter today. We recruit a variety of specialties and travel nursing assignments throughout the United States. Contact a recruiter today to get started!


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand.


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand.


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand.

Get Started Now


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand.

View Top Jobs in

Search, apply and be the first in line for your dream job today.

View Top Jobs in

Search, apply and be the first in line for your dream job today.

Apply to Top Jobs in

Search, apply and be the first in line for your dream job today.

Get Started in

Search, apply and be the first in line for your dream job today.

Take Control of Your Career with

Search, apply and be the first in line for your dream job today.