3 Ways a Nurse Can Make Money While Surviving Chronic Illness

If you’re a nurse who is battling chronic illness and looking for ways to work from home and still be a part of the healthcare field, here are a few ways to do it. Nurses Entrepreneurs Article

3 Ways a Nurse Can Make Money While Surviving Chronic Illness

Life has a funny way of changing our plans, doesn't it?

You made it through nursing school, have a great nursing position, and care for others on a regular basis. Maybe you've even made plans to continue your education or move to a different type of nursing career.

Then chronic illness took over, and your body is no longer tolerant of the long hours bedside nursing requires. What comes next? If you're like me, your bodies decision to leave you high and dry probably made you angry.

However, once I got over the resentment and sadness, I got back up and did a ton of research. Through this research, I've not only found ways to stay in the healthcare field, make money without the strenuous hours, but I get to do it all from home!

That's right; the jobs I'm going to cover in this article can all be done from home. If you target healthcare related subjects, these are excellent ways to continue using your nursing knowledge while working online.


I began my online presence by starting a website/blog called Living the Diagnosis. I'll admit, I didn't do any research about professional blogging. I'd been keeping a family blog, so I thought "how much harder could it be?"

It took me about six months of hard work on the website before I saw a profit. I'll tell you this; the money didn't come from ad's on the site (which is how I initially planned on monetizing it). It came in the form of sponsored posts. I became a member of the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network. Once I had enough traffic coming to the site, I was able to apply for sponsored posts from the network.

There are many ways to make money from blogging including:

  • affiliate marketing
  • courses
  • products/services

I didn't do any of these on Living the Diagnosis because I discovered the next way to make money; freelance writing.

The beauty of a blog is you can write about any subject you want, so the possibilities are literally endless.

Freelance Writing

Living the Diagnosis is a medical story sharing site. People share their stories, and I edit them. After about six months, I realized that though I enjoy editing, writing is where my real passion is. One day, I came across a "Nurse Writer" and was instantly intrigued.

Obviously, the words "nurse" and "writer" in the same title were exciting to me!

I did some digging and started learning all I could about the art of freelance writing. One of the first things I realized was that almost all the lessons I'd learned in school and college about writing were not hard and fast rules when writing for the web.

I learned how to find publications and companies to write for, how to figure out who may hire writers, and how to "pitch" my writing. Once I learned the basics of freelance writing, it was time to start marketing myself.

One of the first things I realized was that I needed to find a "tribe" and fast. Freelancing is fun and all, but it does get lonely, even for introverts. Besides, you need to find someone who "gets" it!

One of the "tribes" I found and am still very active in is the Healthcare Marketing Network. This is a group of healthcare writers and marketers from all disciplines who have come together to swap ideas, educate each other and just have fun! They also have a job board where you can find jobs!

There are tons of writing "tribes" out there, so no matter what niche you pick, you're sure to find one that fits your needs.

The beauty of freelance writing with chronic illness is you can choose as much or as little work to take on depending on your health.

The downside is, as you know, you never know how you will feel, so sometimes it is hard to complete the work you take on. The best tip for that is to make sure you communicate with those you write for.

A way to use your nursing knowledge while pursuing freelance writing is to make sure to apply for jobs that are in the healthcare niche. You can contact nurse bloggers and see if any of them need writing done (many will hire ghostwriters to help with blog posts), or ebooks or other types of blog content.

There are many writing companies out there who write for major hospitals and love to hire nurses who like to write and have the knowledge and experience to write well.

Social Media Management

I kinda fell into social media management. When I began, one of the major challenges was learning to market the blog. A big part of that was social media. I used to joke that I spent 10% writing/editing my blog and 90% trying to market it so people could find what I just wrote. It's not far from the truth!

I learned my way around all the major platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

As time went on, I'd chat with other bloggers and freelance writers and found out that the social media part of the biz was hard for them, they didn't like it, or it was just too time-consuming. Then I learned people are willing to pay others to help them with their social media!

A great way to use your nursing knowledge in this field is by working with healthcare entrepreneurs. There are many nurse authors, entrepreneurs, and bloggers who likely need help with running their social media platforms.

Over the past two years, I've been making money working from home, and I love it, but I know these methods aren't for everyone. If the things I've listed aren't your cup of tea, here are a few other ways you can work from home:

  • editing
  • proofreading
  • graphic design
  • Etsy Store (physical or digital products)
  • virtual assisting

This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to make money from home while using your nursing knowledge, but hopefully, gives you an idea of a few things you can do if your body isn't cooperating with your heart and mind.

Do any of these sound like they would be a good fit for you? Let us know in the comments.

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Once a nurse (LPN) until chronic illness took me away from the traditional bedside role. Now a freelance healthcare content writer and social media strategist/manager.

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Specializes in ICU; Telephone Triage Nurse.

Nice article with good ideas.

I have systemic SLE, and had been sidelined for 10 years on medical disability retirement. Not only had I thought I would never work again, but I didn't think I was long for this world either.

Nearly 4 years ago I started full time work again - from home, doing telephone triage nursing. I love it. It's exactly what I needed and wanted, as I knew I could never again survive doing 12 hr shifts doing direct patient care at the bedside, or the long hours spent on one's feet running, running, running ...

You've got some really creative and excellent ideas. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise - that's very, very cool. More nurse's are afflicted with some condition that makes working in the traditional sense harder and harder. And those bills won't pay themselves! Many thanks!

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I'm looking for something similar; I have great computer skills and love to write. I recently retired about 1 year ago, with 45+ years nursing experience in a variety of fields. Your article was an inspiration ! Much thanks, indeed.

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