Half of today’s nurses have picked up “side hustles” to make extra income outside of the profession, with nearly half of new nurses planning to switch careers.
That’s according to a survey published by ConnectRN this month, which highlighted concerns surrounding the profession as it stands today.
ConnectRN surveyed more than 1,300 nurses for its survey, including 700 registered with the staffing platform – the majority of whom are SNF clinicians.
About 39% were certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and 27% were licensed practical nurses (LPNs).
“It comes as no surprise that nurses are multifaceted and wish to pursue different opportunities. However, the amount of new nurses [that] plan to leave permanently for their side hustle is alarming.” Tamara AL-Yassin, former bedside nurse and CEO of the ConnectRN newsletter, The Nursing Beat, said.
About six in 10 nurses feel their job interferes with their life, according to the survey. Meanwhile, 20% of respondents say nursing alone is too stressful in terms of a career and income. On top of that, 51% of respondents said their current schedule doesn’t allow for continuing education.
“I sacrifice so much now, but it’s not because I love to go to work. Instead, I have to sacrifice time in order to keep my head above water. I have to sacrifice my own personal needs to achieve goals so I’m not in my 50s trying to reinvent myself because I can’t retire,” one nurse said in the survey.
Nursing home leaders have an “enormous amount of work” ahead of them to better support young nurses and meet their work standards, said AL-Yassin.
“If we don’t begin to listen and solve archaic institutional employment requirements, we will ultimately lose our nursing workforce,” she added.
The survey comes out at a time when the lure of per diem nursing has increased, with burnout on the rise as well. Typical shifts for healthcare workers are 12-plus hours, and involve overnight work, according to the Nursing Beat. Moreover, 62% of nurses say such grueling shifts have increased since Covid began.
These factors make the side gigs attractive.
“The ‘new nurse’ has a multi-dimensional life and is entrepreneurial,” ConnectRN CEO Ted Jeanloz said in a press release. “A side hustle allows them to explore interests outside of nursing and to take care of themselves and their families.”
Aside from financial support, the side hustle life allows nurses to thrive and keep them in the profession, Jeanloz said.