How this RN Built a 7-Figure Side Hustle at 30 (2021 Update)

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If you had asked me three years ago what I envisioned my future looking like, a blog side hustle wouldn’t have even crossed my mind.

According to Pew Research Center, self-employed Americans accounted for 10% of the national workforce in 2014[1].

But as for me? I had no intention of contributing to that 10%.

If you had asked me what my future looked like, I would have offered you two words: operating room. I was going to be titrating drips and tinkering with IV tubing, putting people to sleep and magically waking them back up.

My dream: to be a nurse anesthetist.

That future may still become a reality. Just not anytime soon. For now, my future is being molded by something I never saw coming. Something that started out as a joke, but became so much more.

All thanks to readers like you.

That’s right, DollarSprout affords me the opportunity to write about things I truly love, like personal finance, ways to make money on the side, and so much more — all while supplementing my income as a registered nurse (in a big, big way).

For me, this blog is the sentinel event to my operating room vision. It’s dead to me, for now.

That’s fine though, my new future looks equally as bright, and I’m excited to share how it’s panned out thus far.

The Long and Winding Road

To give you some insight into how it all started, I have to rewind my story just a little bit.

The year was 2014 – I was 26 years old and had just finished 8 years of college.

What did I have to show for it?

  • 2 bachelors degrees (a BS in Biology and my BSN)
  • $112,000 in student loan debt
  • an entry-level RN position making $36,000 per year

$36,691.20 to be precise.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that I was going to be in debt forever…

Whoops.

After taxes, rent, utilities, my car payment, car insurance, health insurance, and student loan payments, I remember just barely breaking even that first year.

Hey, at least I wasn’t driving myself further into debt, right?

If only someone had told me I could have gone to community college, become a registered nurse, save almost $90,000, and been done six years earlier…thanks, Mom and Dad. (Just kidding. I switched majors twice because I was an idiot and had no clue what I was doing.)

It’s all good though.

I knew moaning about it wasn’t going to make my situation any better. I also knew my $36,000 salary wasn’t likely to cut it if I ever wanted a family. It was becoming abundantly clear that I had to keep going. In some way, shape, or form, I had to further my career to afford the life I wanted.

And then it hit me…

Reality Check #1: Life Doesn’t Wait

All of a sudden adulthood hit, and I needed money. I knew (or at least I thought I did) that more schooling would be my ticket to achieving the higher salary I so-desired.

Unfortunately, more schooling wasn’t an option. I literally could not afford to go to school another day. The deferment period on my first loans had ended and the payments started hitting me right in the face.

All of a sudden I had bills to pay.

“Oh dang, where’d those come from?,” I remember thinking.

To make things worse, I was already doing the one thing I was best equipped to do to pay off my enormous debt — working as a nurse.

There wasn’t much else I could do.

But rather than resign myself to the fact that it was unlikely I was going anywhere anytime soon, I spent what seemed like a million hours looking at side hustles for nurses and planning my next move.

And then it hit me: I was going to start my own business.

Reality Check #2: Things Almost Never Go the Way You Planned

Pretty random, I know (after all, I had just finished nursing school). But it’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to own my own business.

And so, inspired by the time I spent trading penny stocks at Starbucks (while I should have been studying for nursing finals), I decided I’d give an old buddy of mine a call to talk about what side business idea we were going to pursue.

But really we were just joking around.

We weren’t actually going to start a business.

We had gone to school for biology and biochemistry – what did we know about starting a business?

Yeah, approximately nothing.

But as this particular buddy and I became more jaded about our poor paying, entry-level positions (seriously, he was making $8/hr) we somehow came to the brilliant conclusion that we were going to start our own investment education website.

I know what you’re thinking. Of all the possibilities, why this side business idea?

Two broke, science-oriented, new grads were going to teach people how to invest their money. Ironic, no?

Now, before you come down on us too hard, said buddy did work for a private wealth management firm for a number of years prior to us coming up with our hatchling business idea (he also possessed his Series 7 license and was, at the time, a Level 2 CFA candidate).

And I at least knew what a website was? How’s that for experience?

In retrospect, we were cocky idiots and had no idea what we were doing.

Alas, in late February 2015 we slapped down $100 on the Virginia State Corporation Commission counter.

“We got this,” we thought.

Just over 1 year later we had brought in a whopping $0.29.

To be fair, we intentionally waited a while before trying to monetize our website. But when we finally got around to it, we discovered this whole business thing was much harder than we thought. And then the money ran out.

Back to the drawing board.

Reality Check #3: Being Humble Goes a Long Way

It seems kind of hypocritical to be writing about a multi-seven-figure blog and talk about being humble all in the same article, but it really is the basis for our success.

Jeff and I were able to accept that we didn’t know it all. That we weren’t better than the billion-dollar businesses we were competing with when we first started our investment site. That we needed to go back to the drawing board because our first idea was a total bust.

And so, we refocused. Rather than approaching things from a “make money” mindset, we decided to write about things we actually enjoyed.

Jeff started covering personal finance topics, writing about starting your own business and sharing how to make wise decisions with your money. I wrote about the importance of nutrition, food, and exercise in living a healthy, balanced life — all things I teach every day as a nurse.

It started to pay off. And then it happened. My nursing side hustle blew up.

  • May 2016: $0.29
  • July 2016: $29
  • October 2016: $723
  • December 2016: $1,744
  • January 2017: $7,158

People wanted to hear our message, and it showed.

We started approaching our business from the right mindset and the money followed. It was (and continues to be) amazing.

Within 13 months, we were pulling in over $17,500per month.

By January 2019, we were pulling in over $175,000 per month.

By blogging.

Interested in Your Own Nursing Side Hustle? Read On

Starting a blog side hustle has changed my life.

It’s almost unfathomable to me that typing in a word document (and promoting my posts on social media) has helped me pay off my $100,000+ debt to Uncle Sam.

I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t really even need to.

It is so stupidly simple to start a blog nowadays that anyone can do it in about 15 minutes— even if you have 0 website knowledge.

All because Jeff and I refused to give up.

And even though our audience has grown by several hundred thousand (and we pay several hundred dollars per year for our website needs) you too can get started for just a few bucks a month — just like we once did.

Since we’ve referred a large number of bloggers to HostGator, we were able to negotiate an exclusive discount for our readers. If you use coupon code “DOLLARSPROUT” you can get 60% off any hosting package they offer (packages start as low as $2.71/month).

Start a Blog Under $3/mo

If you are interested but have no clue what blogging is about, think of it as storytelling, but to an audience of adults.

You don’t have to be a genius.

You don’t have to be a scholar (although it does help to write in complete sentences).

It’s just you, being you.

What’s awesome is that you are your own boss — you get to choose what to write about (in general the more often you write, the better your blog performs).

Popular blog side hustle topics include: 

  • health & fitness
  • lifestyle
  • travel
  • food/cooking
  • photography
  • faith
  • technology
  • sports
  • cars
  • beauty & fashion
  • personal development/life coaching
  • and yes, nursing

Now, making money off your blog is a whole other ball game. It takes hard work and dedication, but if you stick with it, the end result can be amazing. I know because it happened to me. All with 0 prior blogging experience.

Bloggers typically make money by:

  • Using display ads (you seriously click and drag ads into your blog posts once you apply for an ad network)
  • Reviewing products for companies that you believe in and trust (they’ll pay you from hundreds to even thousands of dollars depending on your audience size)
  • Participating in an affiliate marketing program (like the HostGator program we talked about above)

Posts to help you get started with your own blog:

  1.  How to Start a Blog (Tutorial)
  2.  10 WordPress Plugins to Monetize Your Blog
  3.  How to Make Money Blogging as a Beginner
  4.  Top 3 Affiliate Networks for Bloggers
  5.  How to Use Pinterest to Get Website Traffic

Of All the Nursing Side Hustle Ideas, Blogging Was a Dream Come True

Sometimes I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. (Not really, but you get the point.)

It’s truly an incredible feeling.

That feeling where you know what you’re doing is exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. Never in a million years did I imagine that, as a nurse, I’d pick up a pen (or more accurately my laptop) and “blog” about things that interest me — and make a living by doing it.

It has been the most surreal experience.

The crazy thing is I am not the only one. There are literally thousands of other bloggers out there who are doing the exact same thing. It’s bonkers.

The Gypsy Nurse. FreshRN. The Bossy Nurse. They’re all nurses who became millionaires through blogging.

I mention them to drive home the point that none of them are any different than you. They didn’t go to school to be a web designer, or a programmer, or some tech guru.

They’re nurses. Just like you. Just like me.

They’re doing it because they have a message, and readers like you are willing to listen.

Author
Ben Huber

Hi! I'm Ben. A personal finance nerd on a mission to help DollarSprout readers make and manage financial decisions. A quoted contributor for Business News Daily, Business.com, Discover Bank, Moneyish, Student Loan Hero, Policygenius, TechRepublic, and more, I work to help others live their financial best life.

40 comments
DNN
DNN

I am really proud to hear and read you turned what you thought to be a joke into a $100k a year business. Blogging is hard because you have to stay on your creative content marketing grind, writing engaging content that inspires readers to participate in long-term discussions. To be 28 and focused on being a registered nurse with a concentration of working in operating room says a lot about your mindset. That requires lots and lots of discipline.

What kind of affiliate programs are you currently promoting as a blogger? How often do you blog? And do you have a blog post word count requirement you set for yourself as a daily goal before publishing?

Ben Huber

We typically promote programs that make the most sense for our audience (i.e. mostly personal finance/business related programs). If we talk about a certain topic in a post, naturally it makes sense to incorporate those companies if they’re a good fit for what we’re writing about.

Our blog posting can be a little hit or miss at times since I do this part-time and Jeff is just now transitioning to full-time work for us. I’d say we average 5-10 posts per month including guest posts (so not a huge number of posts) – we do however spend a lot of time promoting our content.

And definitely to the word count point- we almost will never post a post unless its 800 words. Many of our posts are 3,000 words or longer (this one was over 3,000 and I finished the majority of it in 1 night).

Isabelle Caggiano
Isabelle Caggiano

Hi Ben. My names isabelle and I’m a registered nurse who has been wanting to start blogging. About nursing, Life advice, humor etc. Are you hiring?

Ben Huber

Hey Isabelle, thanks for checking us out! We’re not hiring at the moment but blogging is an awesome way to make some extra money on the side and it sounds like you’ve definitely got your head in the right place as far as choosing the topic. If you’re thinking about getting started and just need some extra help, we’ve got a tutorial that’ll point you in the right direction!

Cheers,
Ben

Dev
Dev

Hey Ben,
My name is Dev… I am from Chicago. I am Super super super happy by reading your article!!! I am 18 yrs old straight outta high school… I have completed shadow program of various fields in Health care and I am extremely interested in Respiratory Therapist ( RT )…
My family members works in Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Rush Medical Centre as Managers in RT. I love the way they work. My friends are going to Private University lol for RNs and RT and some of them have no clue so they are majoring in Biology and living in dorms. While I am going to community college Malcom x for getting my Associate Degree in RT and they also prepare us for CRT and also RRT. So, I am planning to get a job at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and they are hiring more RT and they pay them $33 from starting with RRT. It’s 36 hours a week and also provides overtime. Many people with Associate and RRT works 72 hours a week and makes more than Managers 😂!
Regular – 33 $ * 36 hours * 52 weeks = $61,776
Overtime – 49$ * 36 hours * 52 weeks = $91,728
Total = $1,53,504
Even this Hospital has tution reimbursement for Bachelor and Masters for Employees! I am 18 years old and it will take 6 months to complete pre req for program and 2 years for program and while I am 20/21 years old I can make 150k with no student loan ( off course I need to do overtime). Even my Masters Degree I have to pay only 20% and 80% is covered my Hospital and I have to score well.. I am blessed to have amazing guidance of my family members and I want to go in business and I was super excited to start a business but they advised me to secure you future first and they fly in the sky! So after RT I am super pumped to start my own business and will study super hard and work hardest and smartest. I will find out some new equipment or machine which helps RT and start my own company and sell this equipment To Hospitals. Or I will try to become CEO of the Hospital!! That’s my dream… CEO of Hospital or Find out any equipment or machine which helps patients and start a company! So my next goal is finish pre req and get Associate in RT with RRT Certificate!!!!

Ben Huber

That’s awesome!

It certainly sounds like you have some good influences in your life. Not that there is anything wrong with a traditional 4-year degree, but I think you’ll certainly save a lot of money going the associates route (especially if you’re in no hurry to get it done). Like you’re saying, entrepreneurship is amazing — and something I highly recommend if you’re as motivated as it sounds — but you’re right, secure your future, and attack being a business owner from a position of strength. It’s a lot easier to weather a storm/periods of business volatility [when revenue is down] when you’re financially secure.

Best of luck in whatever route you choose!

Cory
Cory

That’s great!

You guys started from nothing and developed a business by blogging.

It’s similar for me too. I recently started my blog but I never thought I would ever get into blogging.

I think the most important part of the story is that you guys kept at it instead of giving up. Great for inspiring new bloggers like myself.

Ben Huber

Thanks Cory.

It’s been a crazy long road. We’ve had a ton of “wins” lately and it really feels like we’re on a roll.

Super exciting stuff.

DNN
DNN

Wow, Ben. 3,000 words? Are you typing or using speech recognition for content creation? That’s lots and “lots of content.” I do commend you for staying the course. I’ll keep stopping by and checking up on your new posts. I support what you’re doing and glad to come across you on Pinterest.Perhaps we can keep in touch and perhaps interview you someday on DNN. 🙂

Ben Huber

Just typing!

Definitely not as bad as it seems (especially when you’re telling a story and/or you’re excited to be writing about whatever it is you’re writing about!).

And sure to the interview, just let me know when!

DNN
DNN

Sure will, Ben. Thanks 🙂

Susan Velez
Susan Velez

Hi Ben,

First of all congratulations on your blogging success. That’s the sad thing about going to college, you end up with a ton of debt and get a low-entry paying job.

I’ve done it too, although, I went to a community college. It’s still expensive and adds up, but not as much as yours.

So glad that you’ve been able to earn from your blog to walk away from the RN position. The best part is that it didn’t take very long.

The things that I’ve taken away from this post is that it’s important to write about things you love. That’s what I’ve been doing and it is a lot easier to write amazing content if you love the niche.

I’ve started blogs in the past solely for the money and failed. I always had trouble finding the energy or motivation to write.

The second thing I’ve taken away from this post is to never give up. We hear that everyday and your story shows just how important that is.

Thanks for taking the time to share this with us, I loved it.

Have a great day 🙂

Susan

Krista Aoki
Krista Aoki

I was SOOO excited to start reading about this story in Jeff’s email newsletter. You two have an incredible story, and this came at the right time for me. I’m working towards blogging full-time and definitely consider BTOP to be an inspiration for me.

Cheers,
Krista

(p.s. Ben – your sense of humor. “I knew what a website was.” haha!)

Ben Huber

🙂

Jeff just went full-time and at the rate things are going I’ll be there soon as well (I could already do it but I’m grinding out two incomes for now because it is helping me save tremendously)! Definitely looking forward to that day – I am super excited about the direction things are heading. It’s definitely not easy, but two straight years of persistence and its paying off in an awesome way.

Hang in there Krista, it’ll come!

John H Green
John H Green

What a great success story. I hear you, $110 K in student loans, I work over 60 hours per week salary to hit 100K managing 2 units at a hospital. I have a nursing website and would love to have your success someday. Way less drama and stress! Thanks for sharing and I hope to have half your success.

Ben Huber

Thanks John. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your website- good luck and stay patient!

Daniel Diaz (Host of the Project Nurse Podcast)
Daniel Diaz (Host of the Project Nurse Podcast)

Great article Ben! I was reading it and thought I was reading my own bio. I’m an Operating Room Nurse, age 30, and I turned my side hustle into a full-time job at a tech startup. I’d love to interview you on The Project Nurse Podcast if you’re up for it!

Ben Huber

Let’s do it! Shoot me an email at benhuber @ breakingtheonepercent.com with any details I need and maybe we can hash out a good date.

Laci
Laci

Two sentences in to reading this article and I knew I *had* to comment on it. I recently started a blog about family travel and found your website in the process. I’ve learned a lot from you and Jeff both on this website and in your Facebook group and I’m excited to watch as this blog takes off for you. If you ever start thinking about anesthesia again, not that you’ll need to with your blogging income, I love my job as a CRNA and I’d be happy to chat.

Ben Huber

Ahhh, that’s so awesome. It’s crazy to think that this whole blogging thing really has put a hold on the development of my nursing career per se. It sounds weird that blogging could take precedence over a more traditional career but here we are 🙂

I’ve entertained the idea of tackling both at once but obviously, as you well know, the time commitment required for both, at the same time, would be nearly impossible. Perhaps one day when I’m up for another challenge, if or when things aren’t so time intensive, I’ll pester you about what my next steps for chasing that CRNA dream 😛

Terri
Terri

Jeff is your blog Page found on google or Facebook or both. Sounds very interesting as I’m always looking for something on the side. I have been a Critical care nurse and Trauma ER nurse total of 20 years. I would love more information on your blog page. I do love to teach so I believe that would be my way of blogging, maybe. Thanks for sharing your information.

Ben Huber

Hey Terri!

We definitely do both (we try and draw in readers from both Facebook and Google). And for sure, blogging is amazing side gig. It’s one of those things that will take some time (perhaps even a few years of continuous effort) but it’ll eventually pay off (we made about 96k in our second year but there is 2 of us helping eachother out so that definitely helped speed up the process). Some people grow faster, some slower, but still a lot of fun (and frustration) all the same haha.

If you’re interested in getting started we actually have a tutorial that walks you through the process if you didn’t see it above. Good luck either way and thanks for stopping by!

Tony Nikolic
Tony Nikolic

Hey Ben. I stumbled across this article looking to see if Nurses had enough time to even think about starting their own business. I’m currently a Nursing student that switched from business administration with high hopes of starting a business one day, not exactly sure what, but I know time will tell. I’m currently 20 years old and I feel like I might end up being stuck doing one thing for the rest of my life. My question to you is, do you find you had enough time as a nurse to really reflect on a business idea? Also, during your nursing school experience, did you feel you had enough time that you could have started this business earlier if the time was right? Or should I just focus on education for now, and then act on any possible business ideas I had while in college while working as an RN.

Ben Huber

Hey Tony,

There’s a lot here to digest so I’ll try my best!

1) Business, in general, can be super volatile. It’s hard to replace the value that a nursing education will provide merely because it means you will have a “safe” job for the rest of your life. There’s a lot to be said about a job that can provide enough income to provide some life stability. As a student, you’ve probably already completed some schooling making it all the more worthwhile to focus on your studies.

2) That aside, even as a full-time nurse — you’re typically only working 36-40 hours/week (without mandatory overtime or anything like)…so the answer to your question is yes, outside of dependents/family life, you’ll likely have plenty of free time to focus on possible business ventures. It’s all about what you want to prioritize in life/how you spend your down time.

The average person devotes a lot of their down time to TV, internet, other activities — if you’re someone who enjoys the idea of owning your own business — this is the time you can spend on that.

In the end it comes down to how good you are at time management and work-life balance. If, as a student, you think you’re disciplined enough to start a side hustle, no matter what it is, without it distracting from your studies, then go for it!

Not sure if you’re in a 2 or 4 year program, but if you think it’ll be too distracting, then perhaps consider starting on a school break or maybe a little after you start your professional career.

Personally I finished school, worked on our blogs during my spare time, and continued to work full-time until our blogging income was exceeding my career income. I was fortunate enough to have a very good nursing income and consider myself even more fortunate to have found an even more lucrative business income (I actually recently scaled my nursing hours back to flex time so that I could focus on blogging full-time).

I’m all for pursuing your business dreams, and I’m all for risk-taking, but try to mitigate financial risk while still finding time for the things you enjoy! Keep us updated!

Melissa Thien
Melissa Thien

I would love to start a blog about nursing in ltc and being an lpn, specifically, how lpns are under utilized in this day and age.

Toni Alexander
Toni Alexander

I have several blogs already and my daughter set up my page… trying to build more content before I launch but is that right??? I’m so ready just nervous about my writing attempt to keep people interested!! Please help me move forward!

Ben Huber

The best think you can is simply start. Don’t overthink it, just hit publish. Finished is better than perfect.

I was nervous for the longest time about what others may think (especially people I knew) but I just turned a blind eye and jumped in. It’s the only way to go! It’s going to be a process — you don’t have to share it with immediate friends/family from the get go if you don’t want to 🙂

Nosaj
Nosaj

There are many nursing positions that start out for new graduates >60k/yr. I mean, I made 56k as a new grad in 2002, and salaries have most definitely gone up since then.
Of course the side business is awesome but you should have been making almost twice what that starting salary as a new RN unless you were in and especially low paying area of nursing like maybe the outpatient clinic setting. But even then I don’t know anyone that makes less than 50 K a year.

Ben Huber

Believe it or not that’s actually the norm in our area — it’s a rural, LCOL area and starting hourly’s typically don’t exceed $20-$22/hr (I started in 2014 for reference). New grads in more urban areas in our state will make $25-$30/hr to start. It’s not for lack of trying, this is just what the two biggest hospital networks in a 150 mile radius of my hometown pay (worked in-patient, not in a clinic setting).

It’s definitely lower than many in the industry, hence taking on the side hustle 🙂

Nida S.
Nida S.

Looking to get into blogging and make a career of it. I am a RN and would love to communicate my experience as a telephonic triage nurse and as well as my fitness as a nurse.

Nicole
Nicole

If you truly think being a personal finance blogger is “way cooler” than providing anesthesia then anesthesia probably was not the right fit for you or for your interests and talents.

My husband, a CRNA, would be totally unfulfilled as a blogger no matter how much money he was making at it. He would hate writing and promoting a blog (and, honestly, he probably wouldn’t be very good at it ;). However he loves being a nurse anesthetist. I seriously think he would sooner go back to emergency room nursing than keep a blog. Not that there’s anything wrong with blogging just wouldn’t be his thing at all. He needs to be busy with hands on stuff.

To each his own right?

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck with your blog. You are a great writer. Your enthusiasm comes through in your post. It is obviously a good fit 🙂 Now I need to find a good blog topic for myself and read more of your posts to get advice on getting started.

Ben Huber

Perhaps “way cooler” was a poor choice of words — I genuinely enjoy both! 🙂

(I should probably add a cool update to this post because a lot has changed in the 3(ish) years since I first wrote it).

– I actually ended up getting a sizable promotion not too terribly long after the post was published (basically an expanded version of a House Supervisor role if you’re familiar with those).
– We actually scaled our blog(s) to multi-seven figures/year which provided a ton of flexibility in terms of work-life-balance.
– Ironically I think blogging and nursing are somewhat alike in the sense that there is an immense amount of problem solving that goes on — obviously not as hands on per se, but the analytical nature of both roles is super fun for me.
– I still work at the hospital as Clinical Administrator 🙂 (Although I’ve reduced my hours substantially!)

I still wouldn’t entirely rule out going back to anesthesia school — I would *enjoy* the challenge (as much as a human can, as I’m sure you saw first hand, haha) and the area still has my interest piqued.

We’ll see 😬

Nicole
Nicole

Haha I understand what you’re saying. Words can be like that. Odd that this is three years old. Google news feed just sent it to be today, lol. I thought it was recent, guess I didn’t check the date!

CRNA school is definitely a challenge. From what I witnessed the training is brutal (it kind of has to be since it’s a huge responsibility) but becoming a competent at it is extremely rewarding.

It was amazing to see how far he came during clinicals. At first he felt totally insecure and wondered if he’d ever be able to do it. By the end he was a full fledged practitioner. It was pretty incredible to see the transformation. I don’t know if it’s possible to enjoy it unless you’re a masochist haha but it must do wonders for one’s confidence to develop such capability and proficiency over a relatively short period of time.

He’s really happy now but, I’m not going to lie, there were some dark moments during the training. It is very demanding emotionally, physically and intellectually. It’s not uncommon to wonder why if you are putting yourself through this and if it will truly be worth it.

It sounds like your career is going well now but if you still think you want you do anesthesia you should go for it. It is a great career and you only live once 😊 No point in regretting not trying.

Nicole
Nicole

I just saw that in your comment that you scaled the blogs to multi-seven figures. I somehow missed that before…

Seriously, if you’re making that much off blogs why would you bother with anesthesia school (unless you’re bored and really need to throw your life into disarray haha)? Why bother working a normal job at all?

Regardless, you seem like you’d succeed at whatever you set out to do.

Ben Huber

Haha. You’re not wrong about perhaps unnecessarily throwing things into disarray.

Definitely not bored, and I’d probably er on the side saying that it’s probably becoming less likely that I’ll ever end up going that route. I guess it’s just, again, more that the area really did intrigue me and I also feel that it would be super cool/fulfilling — perhaps after the misery of getting through those 3 or so years of intense study.

I’ve had several friends that I work with go through the agony that is anesthesia school and saw the toll it took on them as well. Perhaps not as intimately as you did but it’s super apparent nonetheless (the good news is that they’re all proud/glad they did it, so there’s that). The weight is heavy, but the accomplishment is awesome. More power to him!

No doubt there will be times you’ll want to pull out your hair on the blogging side of things should it be something you want to undertake — the one good part? You can actually get up, walk away and take a break sometimes. :p

And that helps.

Masscv
Masscv

Good job! Thank you for sharing your good experience.

Rhona Gainous
Rhona Gainous

Hello Ben, I read your very interesting story. I am currently a working RN specializing in Women’s Health, Labor and Delivery and High Risk Pregnancies. I feel like I would have a world of information for that group of people and just want to know your thoughts on that and how to get started. Hope to hear back with any info you have for me and where to go from here. Thanks!

Ben Huber

Hey Rhona!

Thanks for stopping by. So a few things:

1) There’s no shortage of people that turn to the internet for expert advice on health problems. In a world where medicine is becoming more and more decentralized by the day, people turn to all sorts of mediums to get their information — some good, some bad (in terms of quality), etc. So an expert voice is always appreciated by those who seek it out.

2) Each segment you listed has a progressively smaller audience. Women’s Health…large. L&D…medium. High risk pregnancies…small. Keep that in mind if/when you decide to start writing. If you want to start a blog as a means for teaching people, but also want to possibly turn it to a business of sorts, think about which audience will help you achieve that (typically the larger one). In a perfect world, you could grow a loyal audience/following and teach about each one of those subjects — at the end of the day, it’s your website and you get to choose what to write about!

If you want to learn more without diving in just yet, I’d recommend checking out our guide to blogging — it’s a 20-minute read or so, but it’ll share more insight into what launching your own blog entails. Hope this helps!

Ryan
Ryan

I just stumbled across this post. It’s both incredibly inspiring, and terribly frightening. I’ve recently been considering changing careers from software sales to nursing. I netted around $80K this past year, and was hoping that a switch to nursing would not significantly decrease my current annual earnings. I was shocked to hear that you were making just a meager $36,000/year starting out with your BSN. Is that normal? I was reading somewhere else that the average BSN salary is around $75,000/year. How on earth were you making under $20/hour? What state was this? I seriously became really worried about switching over to nursing after reading this :p

Ben Huber

$36,000 is absolutely the extremely low end of the pay scale for an RN.

(You can have associates RNs and bachelors prepared RNs — same license, just a two year degree vs. four year. Pay is roughly the same (BSN prepared nurses make $0.50-$1/hr more but some regions may extend that every so slightly higher to the $1-$2/hr range)).

The median salary for nurses was $66,000 in 2016-2017 and that’s probably ever so slightly ticked up since then. That incorporates new grads and 20-year nurses alike, though.
Depending on where you’re from, you can expect to make low 60’s to start in bigger metropolitan areas, and mid 40’s to low 50’s to start in more rural areas.

I’m rural and I started with a company that definitely lags behind in pay when compared with competitors. Odds are you won’t come close to matching your current net income with software sales for several years. That’s not to say that it won’t be worth it as it depends how badly you want out of the other role. (Travel nursing can be super lucrative if you’re into that sort of thing — typically that requires at least 1 year of experience before you can land travel gigs, but those gigs generally start at $35-$40/hr and can reach well above $50/hr in many places).

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