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Why Nurses Should Join the Gig Economy Right Now

Nurses Article   (2,489 Views 41 Replies 830 Words)

Elizabeth Hanes has 11 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Freelance Writer, 'the nurse who knows content'.

2 Followers; 6 Articles; 8,562 Profile Views; 263 Posts

What is the Gig Economy?

Here's how to get in on the ground floor of the gig work gravy train before it becomes overcrowded.

Why Nurses Should Join the Gig Economy Right Now

The gig economy is coming to nursing. Well, to be honest, the gig economy has existed for nurses for a long time – since before we called agency nursing “gig work.”

But these days, more and more nurses see the gig economy as a way to escape the bedside. They dream of the freedom that comes from working when they want to, instead of when their employer demands it. They visualize a lifestyle in which they can make great money while easily juggling family needs with work demands. Some of them secretly yearn to launch a side gig that they can grow into a full-time business.

If you see yourself in any of those pictures, you’re in good company. Each year, untold numbers of nurses leverage the gig economy, either to transition away from the bedside for good or to provide extra cash to pay down debt or fund luxuries like a family cruise vacation. You can get in on this financial gravy train, too.

What is the Gig Economy, Anyway?

‘Gig work’ is a new term for project- or assignment-based work, often of short duration. For example, taking a 13-week travel nursing assignment can be considered a ‘gig job.’ So can giving piano lessons on the side. Within an industry (or even a country), a gig economy relies on independent contractors and freelance workers more than full- or part-time employees to perform all types of work.

Benefits of the Gig Economy for Nurses

Many nurses love the gig economy for the freedom and independence it provides. Unlike the situation with a traditional nursing job – where you might be stuck for weeks or months in an unpleasant working environment before you can secure other employment, give notice, and leave – if a gig doesn’t work out, no problem. It’s easy to move from one gig to the next.

But working in the gig economy confers other benefits, too. For instance, you can use gig work to:

  • Test your business idea before making a large investment in it, reducing your financial risk.
  • Make money from a hobby or passion without relying on it for your entire income.
  • Free up more time to spend with your family.
  • Relieve feelings of burnout by using your nursing talents in a new way.
  • Achieve a renewed sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with your career.

How to Get Started in the Gig Economy

Nurses can easily enter the gig economy by taking on side gigs that can be done in their spare time. This strategy works especially well for nurses who work a traditional “three 12s” schedule, but any nurse can do it. Pick a gig you can do on your off days or on weekends.

Maybe you dream about being a writer. That’s an excellent side hustle.

Maybe you want to continue helping patients, but as an independent consultant, such as a geriatric care manager. Another excellent side gig for a nurse.

Or maybe you’re passionate about products and want to become an independent sales rep for…cosmetics or cookware or supplements. Get gigging!

Your nursing license and educational background give you the ideal credentials to enter the gig economy in some sort of health-related role, but, honestly, the sky’s the limit. Some nurses look to their non-nursing passions to provide them with a side hustle. For example, one nurse in Springfield, Missouri, officiates amateur boxing matches as her side gig.

So how can you figure out what type of side gig is right for you? And once you settle on an idea for gig work, how can you get started?

Join the Entrepreneurs/Innovators Hub Discussions

You can find answers to your questions about the gig economy, entrepreneurship and more on the allnurses.com Entrepreneurs/Innovators Hub. Over the coming year, we’ll be chattering a lot about:

  • How to find the perfect side gig for you
  • Steps for refining your business idea
  • Steps to transition from nurse to businessperson
  • Marketing fundamentals for any nurse-owned business

…and much, much more.

Already, Innovator Hub members are discussing challenges related to nurse entrepreneurship, how to set up an independent nursing practice and other topics to help you launch and sustain your own successful business…or side gig. Join us today and chime in with your own questions and thoughts.  Click here to find out more about the allnurses Innovators Program.

You could be earning great money right now, pursuing that business idea that’s been brewing in your head, or monetizing your non-nursing passion. We’re here to help. Let’s get started!

Elizabeth Hanes BSN RN is 'the nurse who knows content.' For a decade she has helped major healthcare brands communicate with their target audiences to build relationships and drive business results.

2 Followers; 6 Articles; 8,562 Profile Views; 263 Posts

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MSO4foru has 14 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Hospice Home Care and Inpatient.

104 Posts; 533 Profile Views

Why do I feel like I just read a poorly pitched info-commerial ad?   Am I silly to feel like my 3 12 hours shifts should be enough economically???  Don't get me wrong i am doing quite " ok" financially.   I just choose to not spend more time at work than I have to, as I work to support my needs. You will never get back time lost to a job- no matter the pay- than time spent with family and friends.  A long time co worker RN friend of mine who has been overworking for years lost her 19 yr old son in an accident in April.  She is now rethinking her monetary needs.  I am currently functioning on 4 hours sleep- so that I could see my family. No amount of work incentive is worth this family time. 

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I see nurses on instagram doing "side gigs" like selling reference cards that are laminated with specialties information like pediatrics trivia that you can use at work, etc. Or another nurse who sells badge reels on Etsy. 

Still, it's not for me; that takes years of hard work and dedication for something that grows slowly (your own business). I got into nursing because I didn't want business. When I started out in college I thought "maybe I'll do international business as my major" because I wanted to see the world, but I took an economics class and hated how they spoke about people as if they were objects to take money from. It's not for me; I got into nursing because I want to take care of people. Period. I want to be at the bedside and I want to be with people in their times of need; I know what I want and I don't plan on leaving the bedside. 

So for me - Side gigs? Meh. But there are others who like the idea, I'm sure.

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MSO4foru has 14 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Hospice Home Care and Inpatient.

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Hoping this is not drifting too far off topic- am currently reading Permanent Record by Edward Snowden. I understand he is/can be a polarizing figure.  He has an interesting statement in his book " I had hoped to serve my country,  but instead I went to work for it. This is not a trivial distinction ".   

     In these days of consolidation,  buy outs/ for profit take overs- causing experienced health care workers- from CNAs to Drs being told they no longer have a position- where does that leave us bedside nurses? Scrambling to get a side job " just in case"??

" ain't that America,  you and me"

 

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DextersDisciple has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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21 minutes ago, MSO4foru said:

Why do I feel like I just read a poorly pitched info-commerial ad? 

A little harsh don’t ya think? OP I enjoyed your suggestions 🙂

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MSO4foru has 14 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Hospice Home Care and Inpatient.

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No - I don't.  I feel that being a full time employee ( especially making quite a bit more than minimum wage) should be enough.   I think my big point was that your Time will never be given back to you. ( capital letters for emphasis). Wanna work 60-70 hours a week to get a house you'll hardly do more than sleep in or have no family time for months for a two week vacation to spend with them? Have at it. I can promise you as a hospice nurse, time is short,  and you never get it back.

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tnbutterfly - Mary is a BSN, RN and specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

13 Followers; 122 Articles; 5,455 Posts; 197,236 Profile Views

The OP is talking about time and that you should spend it doing what you want....what you feel to be valuable and uplifting.  She is not suggesting that you necessarily spend more time at the bedside.  If you want to start a business, work from home so you can spend more time with family, a side gig can turn into a source of revenue so that you can have more time to spend it how you want.  

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laflaca has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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"the freedom that comes from working when they want to, instead of when their employer demands it. They visualize a lifestyle in which they can make great money while easily juggling family needs with work demands."

Yeah, maybe - if that actually works out for some people, more power to 'em.  However, other people end up with freedom of having minimal or no health insurance, and a lifestyle in which they can frantically run back and forth between three part-time gigs, trying to arrange childcare on a different schedule every day.

Personally I'd like to live decently on just one job, without "monetizing" (ugh!) my hobbies and passions, the things that are supposed to bring us joy and connect us to other humans. I don't want to turn every part of my life or my home into a for-profit scheme.  Your mileage may vary, I guess.

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MSO4foru has 14 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Hospice Home Care and Inpatient.

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And again- my point is - All of time is Finite. What are you going to sacrifice today- if you are in a comfortable financial position- for a possible future payoff? I understand some people are career driven or ( as so many new grads are) not given a choice into getting higher education.  My point is that- if you are comfortably paying your debts- and are working a lot of overtime for material gains ( I don't blame anyone for wanting a house- I live in one and have a mortgage)- but you are living to work for short term payoff,; I think you are missing out. I work to live  not the other way. I do my 36 and am conscious of my finances. Even though it would be nice to have a new car, or fancy kitchen- unless I find a bag of money on side of road that's not going to happen. My time with my family I will never get back . Again I am a Hospice nurse- and as pointed out before on allnurses am a different breed.  I just know that almost every day I work , I encounter people who wish they had spent their time differently.  I am making a conscious effort to make my time matter to me, not my possessions.  

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

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5 hours ago, MSO4foru said:

And again- my point is - All of time is Finite. What are you going to sacrifice today- ... 

Nods in agreement. Remember always that work is selling hours out of your life- so make it count for what is most important to you

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNS and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

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You should make your time count. Totally agree. However the reality of life is that most of will work a long time. Why not do something you enjoy?  With decreasing pensions and 401k’s and the fact that you do t want to outlive your retirement options are always a good idea to consider. 
 

that’s all this is - an option 

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

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This is where I worry about my children's future. The gig economy is encroaching more and more. Contributions to the IRA, paid time off, company group health insurance matter.

A stable job with benefits with a creative side gig is becoming a place for the priveleged and lucky.

My older son's medications to manage his chronic health conditions would be almost unaffordable without health insurance. He has until the age of 26 to find a job with benefits.

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