Side Hustle: Lessons from a Nurse

Updated: May 9

by: Riza Punay



      WHAT'S YOUR SIDE JOB?, a doctor asked me this question once. At first I felt insulted because as a nurse or anyone working in the healthcare sector would perfectly know how stressful our job can be. We merely have some time for ourselves let alone do some more work at the top of our permanent jobs. Perplexed and with an angry look I went away, thinking what a dumb question he just blurted out.


      But looking back on how I reacted 8 years ago, I would have laughed at myself. For almost 10 years whilst being here in the UK working as a qualified nurse, I have been doing some side jobs without even realising it. I was at some point a baby-sitter for a 3 year old boy back then, managed to get involved in a financial consulting business, tried my hands in catering, started an online and on hand ordering jewellery business and lastly, worked some shifts as an agency nurse on my days off work for over 5 years. The many hats I've worn made me who I am today. Being a nurse had opened up many opportunities for me and made my life less monotonous on the work floor in some ways.

      I was doing all these to make extra money on the side and doing something worthwhile. Back when I was doing agency nursing, I managed to save up to pay the deposit for our mortgage which was such a massive help for our family. I also made some money to pay for our wedding without breaking the bank and allocate some of my earnings to either savings, holidays and meaningful dates with hubby. All of these were made possible because of those extra odd side jobs that I made.


      Some of the side hustles you may want to consider as a nurse are the following:  a safety officer in any industry, booking some extra shifts either in the BANK (in-hospital extra shift) or moonlighting (agency nurse), run a clinic such as aesthetic clinics, doing sales for a wellness company or simply doing Telehealth via medical transcription or as a health advisor online. These are popular options for nurses right now, you never know you might bump into me in one of these endeavors.


       I know how tricky it can be to juggle all these side jobs whilst being a full time nurse. Everyone knows so well that Nursing is indeed a HARD job.  It’s labor intensive especially when you’re working in the ward and it goes beyond what people truly understand. The emotional implications of the job can totally take a toll on you in the long run if you’re not particularly paying attention to caring for your physical and mental health.



    Whilst having supplementary income can be rewarding, pushing yourself an extra mile may bear pretty serious consequences too. Thus, you have to be careful in the future. As for me, it made me crash and burn at some point. I collapsed in A&E and ended up having an emergency laparotomy to take out my gallbladder. After what had happened, I realised that it's time to set healthy boundaries and take care of myself. Moderation is the key, just like with anything else. 


      As nurses, we can wear lots of feathers in our cap. I believe we can be anyone we want to be when we put our hearts into it—sounds like a Disney one liner, right? But I can truly attest to this, we, as nurses are exposed to different levels of stressors in our workplace making us resilient to any situations life may throw at us .


    Side jobs don't only provide extra income but also a sense of fulfilment. Start with your passion and take it from there. Discover the things you enjoy and that side hustle will feel less exhausting. It may feel actually rewarding in the long run. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the need for the side job, just embrace it and it will help you establish a NEW YOU and a BETTER YOU.


About the Author: Riza is a nurse, a side hustler, a jack of all trades and a mum.





Tags: filipino uk nurse, pinoy nurse, side hustle, nursing, side job

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