13 Ways Nurses Can Make Six Figures a Year

There are numerous paths to making six figures as a registered nurse.

However, the amount of money a nurse makes in a typical year varies depending on several factors.

For instance, a nurse’s career path, salary negotiations, location, and side work or hustle dramatically influence earnings.

There’s lots of money to be made in healthcare for nurses willing to put in the effort.

Nevertheless, it requires the right strategy, creativity, and attitude.

Even registered nurses in general nursing fields can make a very healthy salary under the right circumstances.

From full-time blogging to working in a rewarding career, here are thirteen ways nurses can make six figures a year.

How to Make Six Figures as a Nurse:

  1. Become a professional blogger
  2. Become a social media influencer
  3. Work in a field that pays six figures
  4. Open a nurse practitioner’s office
  5. Start a side hustle
  6. Sell products
  7. Work in a high-paying state
  8. Become a CRNA
  9. Open a medical spa
  10. Become a travel nurse
  11. Accumulate overtime, double time
  12. Take advantage of differential pay
  13. Get a second job

The following section explores each strategy in detail to determine the most effective way to earn $100,000 annually.

1. Become A Professional Blogger

Blogging provides many opportunities for nurses to earn extra income or even replace their full-time job.

It’s beneficial for those taking their blog seriously and developing a successful content strategy to help others succeed.

Accordingly, numerous bloggers make a six-figure income educating students and professionals on essential topics.

How to Make Six Figures as a Nurse Blogger

  • Teach nurses to improve their professional life
  • Guide specific nurse/career topics
  • Offer individual care advancement advice
  • Provide nursing students/professionals with essential products and services
  • Offer education on the college course curriculum.

As your blog gains traffic, you can monetize the website with products and services that match the audience’s needs.

Nurse bloggers can also offer advertisement space through ad networks such as Adsense, Mediavine, Media.net, and Adthrive.

For blogs with a large audience, you can do endorsement/sponsorship deals with companies interested in marketing to your audience.

Some nurses have used their money as registered nurses to cover their lifestyle expenses.

At the same time, they pursue other interests online and eventually pivot into running a professional blog.

You can earn a six-figure income if you’re dedicated and willing to learn how to build a profitable business.

It would be best to treat your blog as a business, not a hobby.

Therefore, you must focus on making money and gaining customers.

2. Become A Social Media Influencer

Social media influencers make a living by building a brand and selling products and services that match their audience’s needs.

For example, fitness influencers can show followers the best exercises, meal plans, and products to achieve their personal goals.

As a result, the influencer can earn a commission on the products/services they sell while helping others.

Alternatively, food influencers can recommend recipes and cookware to help their audience make the best recipes.

As a nurse influencer, you can help college students study better to pass their exams.

You can also encourage nurses to purchase the right gear for nursing school or work.

Lastly, nurses who love style can teach their audience how to look fashionable while maintaining a professional appearance.

Social media influencers make money by doing brand endorsements and deals to get paid to market and promote products.

Addionitlaly, influences can earn money through affiliate sales, where they make a commission off of purchased products/services.

Social media influencers operate on YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, and Pinterest.

These platforms have very dedicated audiences that enjoy following their favorite influencers.

The biggest platforms can bring influencers tens or hundreds of thousands of followers daily.

As a result, nurses cultivating the best audience can make lots of money promoting the right products/services.

Platforms Influencers Use to Earn Six Figures a Year

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • Youtube
  • Twitch
  • Pinterest
  • Vine

Some of the most successful online influences combine social media with their successful blog to make money.

It allows influencers to cultivate, educate, and grow their audience and earn a lucrative six-figure income!

In addition, some influencers make millions of dollars yearly on social media platforms and sell at their highest levels.

That said, it’s sporadic for influencers to earn a seven-figure income yearly.

It requires lots of work, luck, and the proper connections to earn a seven-figure salary.

For many nurses, the best thing about being a nurse blogger is working from home or virtually anywhere.

That alone is a great selling point for lots of healthcare professionals.

3. Work in a Six-Figure Nursing Specialty (100K – 200K+)

One of the most direct ways for nurses to earn 100K+ yearly is to work in a high-paying career.

The nursing field offers over 100 different career paths and specialties that nurses can pursue.

As a result, some fields offer generous six-figure incomes for nurses with the proper skill set and talent.

It provides flexibility and diversity for those who enjoy nursing but wants something different from general healthcare.

For example, a certified registered nurse anesthetist makes six figures yearly (100k – 200k+).

A certified registered nurse anesthetist provides anesthesia to patients undergoing surgery or when anesthesia is necessary to ensure proper care.

Legal nurses work alongside law enforcement, lawyers, and healthcare providers outside hospitals and doctors’ offices to provide consulting work.

They help layers and judges obtain information to make informed legal decisions.

There’s also work for nurses who prefer the administrative side of healthcare.

These careers provide a hands-off approach to patient care, and some administrative nurses earn $150k plus per year.

How to Make Six-figure as a Nurse in High-income Careers

  • Administrative Nurse
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • CRNA – Certified Registered Nurse anesthetist
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • General Nurse Practitioner
  • Legal Nurse
  • NICU – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse

Even nurses who don’t fit into specific categories can make a six-figure income.

For example, nurses with a side hustle, overtime, and receiving differential/holiday pay can make a high income.

Moreover, non-specialized registered nurses can make a six-figure income if they work in the right location and has enough experience.

Regarding starting pay, and salary caps, location is one of the most significant factors for nurses to earn more.

Here’s a nurse salary chart by Nightingale.edu that provides information on how much-registered nurses make in various states.

Depending on where a nurse works, the salary can jump by tens of thousands of dollars based on the state/city.

Therefore, if you’re looking to make a six-figure salary, the location may be something you’ll want to consider.

With that said, even with a high salary, nurses in states/cities with a high cost of living can earn less.

A high cost of living can eat away at additional income.

After all, taxes, rent/mortgages, insurance, and products/services can cost significantly more depending on the state.

Therefore, the “extra money” earned in that location may not be worth the additional cost.

In this case, it’s best to consider the salary and the cost of living in that location.

Ultimately, it helps you determine where you can make the most money after taxes and the cost of living expenses.

4. Open A Nurse Practitioner’s Office

There are several avenues to earn a six-figure income for registered nurses who earn an advanced registered nurse practitioner degree.

One option is to work for a hospital or doctor’s office that pays a six-figure salary.

Another option becoming increasingly popular is for nurse practitioners to open their practice.

Nurse practitioners can legally, “depending on the state,” open and run their clinics.

You can assess, diagnose, and treat your patients as a nurse practitioner with limited restrictions.

You can also prescribe medication as a nurse practitioner and perform many other professional duties.

And because nurse practitioners can open their clinics, they have much more control over how much money they make.

They also control who they hire and what type of clinical practice they want to focus on throughout their career.

That said, the extent to which a nurse practitioner can work without oversight depends on the state/city they operate in and their employer’s policies.

For instance, some states afford nurse practitioners to operate their offices fully without oversight.

In contrast, other states require practitioners to follow restrictions, such as hiring a physician to oversee certain legal/medical matters.

This article from Refinery29 interviews a nurse practitioner who earns nearly $140,000 plus bonuses and stipends working as a licensed nurse practitioner.

5. Start A Side Hustle

There are many side hustles for nurses with an entrepreneurial spirit that generates a six-figure income.

The right side hustle can be an effective and lucrative strategy for making more money.

This work is excellent for nurses who enjoy work variety and learning new skills.

It’s also great for full-time nurses who want to avoid burnout from working overtime.

Lastly, side hustles are great for nurses who don’t have an advanced degree or want more flexibility in their work.

Taking on a side hustle provides nurses with a refreshing environment where they can continue to work on their terms and in the manner that best suits their interests/lifestyle.

For example, a nurse can work as a tutor, freelance healthcare writer, telehealth nurse, or part-time office worker.

It allows them to work on their schedule and set hours when they have free time.

In some instances, nurses have even turned their side hustle into their primary career.

Eventually, they could transition from their original job into a new career path with enough effort.

These side hustles include becoming a full-time blogger, working as a professional healthcare writer, doing transcription work, working as an independent nurse, and tutoring full-time, among other side hustles.

How to Make Six Figures as a Nurse with Side Hustles

  • Blogger/social media influencer
  • Freelance nurse writer
  • Instructor
  • Proofreader
  • Healthcare transcriptionist
  • Telehealth nurse
  • Tutor
  • Part-time office worker

DollarSprout.com is a perfect example of a nurse who turned their side project into a lucrative seven-figure business.

In addition, check out TheNerdyNurse and AllNurses if you want examples of other successful sites.

These websites show great examples of nurses who’ve turned their blogs/forums into successful businesses.

Allnurses.com easily earns seven figures annually, according to various estimates.

These are just a few professional nurse bloggers that have turned their side hustles into full-time careers.

Hopefully, these examples give you an idea of how a side hustle can become a financially fruitful full-time business.

If you have the hustling spirit, you can turn your passion/interest into a six-figure income!

6. Sell Your Products

You can create a business focused on selling products and eBooks online.

Selling your products can also go hand and hand with having a blog or working a side hustle.

However, many entrepreneurs make a full-time living without owning a website or working for someone else.

Selling products on Etsy and Amazon allow nurses to quickly, easily and efficiently sell their products online.

In contrast, Shopify services allow you to sell your products directly to your customers from your website.

If you’re a nurse who loves to create products and crafts, Etsy is an excellent platform for starting your own business.

They can help you get discovered, selling personalized products you love while earning money.

Alternatively, eBooks are a great way to educate students, share stories, and provide unique content for nurses who prefer writing.

In this case, Amazon is one of the world’s largest eBook sellers online and an excellent platform for selling books.

Digital eBooks are an excellent way for nurses to self-publish and earn money.

Nurses can set their prices and receive more money per sale because they are book publishers.

How to Make Six Figures as a Nurse Selling Products

  • T-shirts | Scrub caps
  • Stethoscope covers | Stethoscope cases
  • Jewelry | Stethoscope charms
  • Coffee mugs | Custom tumblers
  • Badge reels | Stethoscope I.D. tags | Key-chains
  • Stickers
  • Non-medical grade face masks
  • Tote bags | Lunch bags
  • Flashcards | Medical Guides
  • Perfume | Candles | Scents

Although this list is short, you can sell tons of products online to make a six-figure income.

If you search Etsy, you can see popular items created and sold to nurses.

Creating and selling products isn’t for everyone.

However, it can be lucrative for those with an entrepreneurial spirit.

7. Work in a High Paying State

Relocating to a state that offers increased pay, benefits, and overtime is an excellent way to make more money as a nurse.

Numerous states pay full-time registered nurses six figures under the right circumstances.

It includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, the District of Columbia, Alaska, Massachusetts, Washington, and New York.

Even in lower-paying states, nurses earn six figures by working overtime and taking on special assignments.

That said, it’s essential to understand the state’s cost of living before relocating for higher earning potential.

Some locations have much higher living costs, nullifying any financial advantages you’d gain from moving.

As a result, it’s essential to understand your expenses and deduct them from what you’d earn.

You have a more realistic understanding of what you can save after living costs and personal expenses.

Locations like Hawaii offer excellent pay for registered nurses.

It’s also a beautiful place to live, with lots of water, fun activities, and amazing sights.

However, Hawaii is one of the most expensive places in the United States.

It may not be worth it for nurses who want to save most of their money and stay in a low-cost environment.

Contrarily, Texas offers nurses exceptional salaries while keeping state taxes and living costs low.

It’s a fantastic place to live for those who want to own a beautiful home and save for retirement.

That is, as long as you don’t mind the heat!

The Popular High-Paying States for Nurses

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Oregon
  • District of Columbia
  • Alaska
  • Massachusetts
  • Washington
  • New York
  • New Jersey

8. Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse anesthetists play a vital role in patient care by ensuring they receive the appropriate medication dosage.

Nurse anesthetists provide anesthesia during and after surgical procedures or cases where anesthesia is necessary for patient well-being.

Being a nurse anesthetist is extremely difficult.

For instance, CRNAs must understand patients’ medical histories and conditions to determine how their bodies react to various medications.

They must also understand how to utilize various equipment and administer anesthesia appropriately.

Too much medication and the patient can have adverse medical consequences.

Too little medication and the patient may suffer.

As a result, nurse anesthetists must be exceptionally well-trained, disciplined, and highly focused.

Any mistakes they make can have severe consequences for the patients they serve.

Certified registered nurse anesthetists earn reasonably high incomes for their expertise and specialization.

Some nurse anesthetists earn over 200k annually, administering anesthesia and assisting physicians/surgeons. 

This discipline requires years of schooling, and nurses must obtain post-graduate education to earn their MSN or DNP.

Nevertheless, becoming a nurse anesthetist is an exceptional opportunity to work in one of the highest-paying professions in the United States.

9. Open a Medical Spa

Opening a medical spa is a great way to earn a six-figure income by improving people’s appearance and mood.

Some spa owners make multiple six figures or even seven figures providing various services to their clients.

As a medical spa owner, you provide nonsurgical aesthetic treatments to people who want to look younger and healthier.

It includes utilizing botox and injectable dermal fillers to enhance specific physical characteristics.

You can also offer nonsurgical fat reduction, laser skin resurfacing, and microdermabrasion procedures.

Finally, laser hair and tattoo removal are excellent for people who want to remove hair and tattoos permanently.

Besides offering these services, you provide healthcare advice, including the best products for particular skincare routines.

Because opening a medical spa requires adequate knowledge and expertise, most nurses must pursue advanced education.

In addition, many states require an MSN or DNP degree and proper certifications to work in this domain.

For nurses with an advanced post-graduate education, it’s a fantastic opportunity to serve a unique market.

You don’t have to worry about bedside care or working in a traditional medical office.

Instead, you can operate your clinic and provide services to improve people’s appearance.

Each state has specific guidelines, rules, and state practice laws that determine a nurse’s scope of practice.

Some states allow nurses to operate solely as primary care providers, while others have reduced or restricted practice laws.

As a result, you need to decide in what state you want to run a medical spa if you’re interested in this profession.

10. Become a Travel Nurse

The travel nursing industry is relatively broad, allowing nurses to work where they want and pick their jobs.

This career also offers excellent pay and benefits for those who accept particular assignments and work the necessary hours.

Travel nurses earn six-figure salaries by being flexible with their chosen jobs and making intelligent financial decisions.

For instance, experienced nurses understand how to negotiate contracts for the best financial results.

They also know how to manage expenses properly to avoid poor money management while traveling.

Knowing your transportation, housing, and meal costs is essential, especially if the travel agency offers reimbursement.

Accepting a travel stipend with travel, housing, and meal costs is more beneficial.

Accordingly, you don’t need to track reimbursement costs and may make money if you find less expensive housing.

Travel nurses work with multiple agencies to receive the best assignments matching their financial goals.

Finally, consider earning certifications and developing expertise in high-demand specific specialties.

It allows you to become more valuable as a travel nurse to negotiate more effectively and ask for bigger bonuses.

Finally, here’s a quick summary of how to make six figures as a nurse.

11. Overtime, Double Time, and Special Assignments

Working overtime is one of the most common ways to make six figures as a nurse.

Nurses who work overtime earn 1.5 times their hourly wage, making it very lucrative.

Numerous facilities also offer weekender assignments/positions to hard-working registered nurses.

These assignments require nurses to work Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays weekly.

However, nurses who work weekender shifts earn incredibly higher wages than those who work alternative shifts.

Not every nurse wants to work every weekend, but those willing to commit can earn exceptional incomes.

Finally, some states require healthcare facilities to pay nurses double the time if they work over twelve hours daily.

It allows nurses to quickly make extra income when they volunteer or are required to stay past their scheduled shifts. 

12. Take Advantage of Differential Pay

Nurses have numerous opportunities to earn differential pay for obtaining higher-level education.

For instance, some facilities offer nurses with a BSN degree more money than nurses with an ADN.

They also pay nurses with an MSN degree more than nurses with a BSN.

Another differential night shift nurses utilize the night shift pay differential, which many healthcare institutions offer.

Those who accept night shift assignments typically earn a percentage boost on their hourly wages.

Each differential is added to a nurse’s base pay rate to increase their earnings and make more money.

As a result, nurses who want to make the most money will want to take advantage of the healthcare facility’s differentials.

It’s also beneficial to obtain additional certifications to work in other areas when needed.

13. Get a Second Job

Working a second job isn’t for everyone, and most people wouldn’t say it’s a glamorous lifestyle.

However, numerous nurses take advantage of their three-day workweek by accepting a second job in a different trade.

It’s an excellent way to earn additional income without overtime in bedside care.

It also allows nurses to decompress in a detached occupation that brings them joy.

Working as a registered nurse is extremely rewarding and has many benefits.

However, it can become overwhelming and emotional, leading to physical and mental burnout.

Finding less stressful work on non-nursing days provides an outstanding balance of income and personal satisfaction.

You can work lots of overtime, nights, and weekends to make six figures as a nurse.

However, overtime isn’t worth it in the long run if you become dissatisfied with being a nurse.

Nursing is a fulfilling career, but too much of anything can be destructive and lead to resentment and frustration.

Instead, balance work and mental health optimally to be happy, make good money, and remain passionate about nursing.

If you are content with staying in healthcare, there are plenty of non-bedside careers and work-from-home jobs for nurses.

These careers allow you to utilize your nursing expertise without overloading yourself daily with bedside care.

How to Make 6 Figures a Year as a Nurse

  1. Become a professional blogger
  2. Become a social media influencer
  3. Work in a field that pays six figures
  4. Open a nurse practitioner’s office.
  5. Start a side hustle
  6. Sell your products|eBooks
  7. Work in a high-paying state
  8. Become a nurse anesthetist
  9. Open a medical spa
  10. Become a travel nurse
  11. Overtime and special assignments
  12. Take advantage of differential pay
  13. Get a second job

These aren’t the only ways for nurses to make six figures a year.

However, the above list comprises several strategies registered nurses can use to make an excellent living.

Give it a chance if you enjoy making crafts or are interested in creating and selling your products.