Becoming a Nurse Freelancer: Tips and Tricks for the New Nurse

How to Become a Nurse Freelancer
How to Become a Nurse Freelancer

I have heard it time and time again: becoming a nurse is one of the most rewarding, difficult, and challenging jobs you can pursue. For every Leena Mecoy who has come to terms with her fate as a career nurse and accepts that she will never have enough patients to justify being a full-time nurse, there are plenty of other new nurses out there who view the nursing profession as aCareer-Ending Disease (CED) or a stepping stone to becoming a doctor. You are not alone if you feel like this. According To The National Center for Health Statistics , more than 50 percent of nursing students drop out before completing their education. It’s not worth the risk! Becoming a nurse freelancer is something we see all the time, especially now that nursing jobs are in such high demand. Let’s explore why and how you can make the leap from school student to an FTE nurse by becoming an independent healthcare provider.

What is a Nurse Freelance?

A nurse freelance is a healthcare provider who works as a medical, surgical, or psychiatric nurse or medical assists. Unlike a full-time nurse, a freelance nurse works for clients as an “access out” only. This type of nurse does not have the same level of responsibility for quality assurance and patient education that a traditional full-time position would have. Freelancers can work in an inpatient setting, an outpatient setting, a home health setting, or as a medical-surgical nurse in any setting where a client may require a particular skill set. This could be for a long period of time, a few hours, or a day. Because of this, your income is directly related to the number of clients you see and the skill level they require. Thus, you can choose to work in an inpatient unit as a general admissions nurse, an outpatient clinic as a certified nurse assistant, or a home health agency as a certified nurse practitioner.

Why Become a Nurse Freelance?

Whether you are a current or prospective nurse, there are many reasons you may want to consider becoming a freelance nurse. The market for independent healthcare providers is heating up right now. This is due to factors such as the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), more patients enrolling in private health plans, the aging of the population, and the fact that people are living longer. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of nursing vacancies is expected to increase by 21 percent over the next decade. With this high demand for healthcare, it’s no wonder that there is a growing shortage of nurses. The good news is that there are many ways to make a nursing salary as a freelance nurse. You can become a certified nurse assistant (CNRA) or a registered nurse (RN). As a certified nurse assistant (CNRA), you can work in an inpatient setting, an outpatient setting, or as a home health aide. As a registered nurse (RN), you can work in a hospital setting, an ambulatory care clinic, or as a medical-surgical nurse in an outpatient or a population setting.

The key to success as a nurse freelancer

Now that you know why you may want to freelance as a nurse, let’s get into the details. There are many challenges that come with the territory of becoming a nurse freelancer. For example, establishing yourself as an independent practitioner can be challenging. Plus, you will need to demonstrate proficiency in order to work in the private sector. You will also need to build your own network of clients and make sure that you are delivering quality services to match your skill level. This may sound like a lot to think about, but it’s really not. The most important thing you can do is to set realistic expectations for yourself. The best way to do this is to be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Expect To Spend The First Year Learning In order to succeed as a nurse freelancer, you will need to invest time into learning the ropes. It may seem like a long way ahead, but it’s really not. In fact, you will most likely spend the majority of your time learning the basics. You will likely spend the first year doing pre-boarding, intake, and education (PBIE) paperwork. During this time, you will be required to pass an initial certification test. Once you pass this test, you can begin working towards your certification as a advanced practice nurse (APN) and, eventually, a registered nurse (RN).

Set boundaries and stop overworking yourself

In order to make a successful transition from school to a career as a full-time nurse, you will need to develop a healthy work-life balance. This may seem like an impossible task when you are only in your 20s, 30s, and 40s. However, there are ways to make this process easier and more effective. First, you can start by setting boundaries with yourself. For example, every time you think you have reached your maximum capacity as a nurse, take a break and evaluate your energy level. If you find that you are overexerting yourself, you can take a pay-off and take a break to de-stress. You can also find ways to reduce the number of times you have to call in sick. This means no five-day weeks, no 40-hour weeks, and no endless weekends off.

Network, network, network!

Finally, apply for every nursing job you can. Join organizations such as the National League of Nursing, which has Chapters all across the U.S. and Canada. Ask fellow nurses for referrals. Networking is key to success as a nurse freelance. Find nursing soft skills training opportunities. There are many online nursing training programs that you can access with the Internet. Additionally, there are many programs offered at community colleges, universities, and other institutes that you can take advantage of.


Becoming a nurse is a challenging but rewarding career. However, to truly succeed as a nurse, you must be willing to put in the work. That work may include volunteering, working part-time jobs, taking on extra duties, or taking on more hours at a day job. In order to maximize your chances of success as a nurse, it’s important to become an independent practitioner. The best way to do this is to become fluent in multiple languages, have a well-rounded education, and work towards obtaining a career in healthcare. Best of luck!

Noah Chapman
Hello, Im Noah Chapman. Im Editor And SEO analysis for Im a man with 3 beautiful angels towards me. That my beautiful wife, and two beautiful daughters.