Great Passive Revenue Options For Nurses

NurseJournal Staff
Updated March 16, 2023
    Learn about genuine approaches to passive income for nurses, including developing educational materials, subscriber-only content creation, social media, and real estate.
    Nurse taking video with smartphone outsideCredit: SDI Productions / E+ / Getty Images

    Nurses work hard, and their money should work hard for them. In addition to investing in traditional vehicles like stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds, and certificates of deposit (CDs), many nurses make additional money from passive income. Discover opportunities for passive income for nurses with this helpful guide.

    Passive Revenue Options for Nurses

    Passive revenue refers to money and/or time invested in a product or service that you release for sale, rather than a side gig or work-from-home job, in which you receive compensation while actively working. Many nurses and nurse practitioners have extra income that they want to invest in a more personal way than traditional investments. The common nurse schedule of three 12-hour shifts per week can provide more uninterrupted time to invest.

    Many investments labeled as “passive income opportunities” for nurses are actually multi-level marketing (MLM) or pyramid schemes. MLMs benefit a select few — one report revealed that 99% of MLM investors lose money. As well as avoiding MLMs, never invest money you couldn’t afford to lose in a passive revenue opportunity.

    Unlike starting a business, many of these methods do not require an upfront investment of money, though they do require time. However, you may want to invest in marketing or equipment for content creation to promote your resources or content.

    1. 1

      Writing a Book

      Writing memoirs about your nursing career, transition to nursing, or other life adventures can offer a fulfilling way to passive income. While traditional publishing assists with editing and marketing, self-publishing offers a faster pathway without an agent or publisher. Self-publishing on an online platform like Amazon does not require printed copies, though you may want to invest in professional editing or cover design.

      Upfront cost: Zero to moderate, depending on how much you want to invest in development and production

    2. 2

      Affiliate Marketing

      In affiliate marketing, you establish a relationship with a seller, such as Target, Walmart, or Amazon, and receive a code to add to the link to any product they sell. After promoting these products, you get a small proportion of any sales resulting from your links.

      This commission can range from less than 1% up to 20%, depending on the product and seller. In general, you can only link to one retailer per product. Alert your audience that you have affiliate links and make a commission for any purchases. Aside from being honest, it may incentivize purchases for somebody who wants to support your work.

      Upfront cost: Zero

    3. 3

      Monetized YouTube Channel

      YouTube allows creators to include ads on their channels if they meet content standards. The service regularly reviews monetized channels for inappropriate content. When using social media as a nurse, you must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and avoid any activity that casts any doubt on your professionalism or employer.

      You may also want to exclude certain videos from advertising, especially content exploring sensitive topics. It can come across as very insensitive or glib to follow up a conversation about processing emotions related to losing a patient with a cheery ad. Wellness and nutrition are popular topics that can generate passive income for nurse practitioners.

      Upfront cost: Zero, though you may want to invest in recording gear

    4. 4

      Live Streaming

      Twitch isn’t just for video gamers and online sports. Some content creators tell stories, engage in other arts like painting or music, or offer lifestyle programming like cooking or decorating. Showcase your nursing expertise with health advice or your other talents to build your follower count.

      Twitch viewers do not have to pay to watch, but other platforms may charge users, which can lead to more income once you have established a following. While publishing content can make you an online target, live streaming seems to make this more likely. Be careful not to accidentally reveal too much about your workplace, location, or personal life.

      Upfront cost: Zero, though you may want to invest in streaming equipment

    5. 5


      Patreon allows subscribers access to content creators’ private content. Many YouTube performers or other content creators use Patreon to post special content or offer advanced access.

      Subscribers pay a set monthly amount for access, which continues until they cancel. Patreon subscriptions are a popular way that followers can support performers and nonprofits. Subscribers will expect consistent updates, so you may want to record content in advance to store for later upload.

      Upfront cost: Zero

    6. 6

      Sell Photographs or Digital Art for Download

      You can sell your photographs or other digital art to stock agencies, which pay royalties when a client uses your images. Nurses can also set up online stores with communities like Etsy. With digital art, buyers will download the images themselves, removing the need to ship your art.

      However, once a user downloads your art, they can do as they like with it, and some unscrupulous buyers sell it as their own, so you may want to perform a regular search for your artwork online. While you can sell digital art at any resolution, most stock agencies want only high-resolution images.

      Upfront cost: Zero, though you may want to buy or license creation software and a higher-end camera

    7. 7

      Rental Property

      If you are a travel nurse and know you will be away for a long time or have money to invest, you can make an income from renting your home or a second property to short-term and long-term tenants.

      If you live in a tourist destination or near a convention center, using a site like Airbnb can be very lucrative, delivering hundreds or even thousands per month. If you are traveling or unable to check the property and clean between guests, you may need to hire a service.

      Be aware that many homeowner associations, condo boards, or landlords do not allow you to list your home for short-term leases. They may fine you for five-figure fees, so research any rules before listing your home.

      Upfront cost: The cost of the home, along with cleaning and maintenance costs

    8. 8

      Design and Sell Nursing Courses

      Creating educational courses can provide a rewarding source of passive income for nurse practitioners and nurses with relevant experience. You can also leverage your professional knowledge to design and deliver recorded courses for providers such as Udemy and LinkedIn Learning.

      You may need to check with your employer to ensure that this activity does not create a conflict of interest, especially if you are a nurse educator. Check with your manager or human resources department to confirm that you can create and sell this kind of content, especially if you identify your employer.

      Upfront cost: Zero, though you may need to buy better recording tools than whatever came with your computer or phone.

    What’s Next?

    There are many excellent opportunities for passive income for nurses who want a more personal involvement in their finances, educate aspiring professionals, or spread their influence while earning. These projects can provide a valuable income source to complement impersonal investments such as the stock market or safer but low-return investments like bonds and CDs.