Even with financial aid and scholarships, people in nursing school often wonder how to pay the bills. The best jobs for nursing students will allow you to focus on your studies and NCLEX prep, while still making enough money to survive. There are full time or part time jobs for nursing students depending on your needs.
The 17 Best Jobs for Nursing Students in 2023
Hourly Rate: $18
Basic Requirements: Phlebotomy education course, CPR certification, required clinical training
If you’re seeking hospital jobs for nursing students, being a phlebotomist is a great option. Phlebotomists are responsible for drawing blood from patients. You will need to talk patients through the process, safely retrieve blood samples, and label each of the samples properly.
To become a phlebotomist, you will typically need to undergo a phlebotomy education course (find options near you here). There will also be clinical training to undergo. The number of hours or supervised blood draws you need to do will vary depending on the program. Once you’ve completed these requirements, you can begin working as a phlebotomist without constant supervision.
- Direct contact with patients
- Straightforward expectations
- Work with other medical professionals
- Good pay rate
- Must complete a phlebotomy course first
- May be difficult to schedule around classes
How to Get Started: The first step is to complete a phlebotomy education and training program, then to have supervised clinical experience. More than likely, you can find a phlebotomy course program at your nursing school and get the pre reqs completed through the training.
Home Health Aide
Hourly Rate: $12
Basic Requirements: High school diploma, required job training
For those seeking nursing student jobs that will give you patient experience, home healthcare is a great opportunity. A home health aide helps people who need help with performing daily tasks around the home.
As a home health aide, you may help the client with bathing and dressing. You might also cook and clean if they can’t do this by themselves. There are also medical components to the job, such as checking vital signs and making sure the client takes their required medication.
Depending on the job, you may need CPR certification.
- Direct contact with patients
- Can specialize in certain healthcare areas
- Variety of different opportunities
- Limited supervision necessary
- Daily tasks can be very varied
- Job requires a lot of emotional responsibility
How to Get Started: As a nursing student, you may already have access to networks that connect clients with home health aides. You can also do a search on Indeed and LinkedIn, where thousands of jobs for home health aids are posted regularly.
Hourly Rate: $32
Basic Requirements: Good grasp on writing
Some jobs for nursing students are simple and flexible, like working as a freelance writer. You already need some skill with language for your classes; why not turn that into a paying job? This gig is among the best jobs for nursing students who have an inclination towards writing essays.
Freelance writing is one of the most flexible jobs out there. You can choose exactly how much work you do, what hours you put in, and how many clients you take on. There are multiple freelancing sites online that can get you started, too.
- High average hourly wage
- Flexible scheduling
- Multiple sites with work available
- Easy to get started
- Must work hard for high wages
- Must be a good writer
How to Get Started: You can sign up for sites like Upwork and Textbroker to have your work rated and see what freelance assignments are available.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Hourly Rate: $16
Basic Requirements: Approved CNA training program completion and certification
If you’re interested in being paid for extra experience with patients, then a Certified Nursing Assistant job might be right for you. In order to become a CNA, you must complete the training program and test to become certified.
CNAs take care of a wide variety of things in a patient’s home. Like home aides, they help with basic daily activities like washing and cooking. But they also have a more active medical role and are responsible for things like enemas, surgical prep, changing bandages, and helping with ice packs.
- In-depth patient contact
- Great experience for later career
- Ability to practice medical care
- Ability to truly help during every shift
- Patients often require heavy medical care
- Can be a tiring position to hold
How to Get Started: You’ll need to enroll in a CNA training program, which can be completed within 4-12 weeks. Courses like the Red Cross can help you to get your certification. Then you’ll be able to look into part time opportunities!
Hourly Rate: $15.50
Basic Requirements: CPR certification, hospital experience, good physical fitness
A patient transporter plays a vital role in the hospital’s ecosystem. They are responsible for transporting patients and assisting them with movement. With this position, your job is to keep patients safe and comfortable as they are transported.
You may also transport other items. For example, you might move medical equipment, mail, supplies, and lab specimens. Most hospitals require you to have some experience working in a hospital setting before being hired.
- Not a mentally strenuous job
- Contact with patients
- Ability to develop a bedside manner
- Great experience learning the hospital infrastructure
- Must be very physically fit
- Not much practice doing medical procedures
How to Get Started: If you’ve spent some time in a hospital setting for your clinical work, you’re already on your way! Look for job postings in your local hospital and ask around in your nursing program. You can also find some jobs on Indeed like this position.
Hourly Rate: $14
Basic Requirements: High school diploma, medical certifications, job training
An orderly is a medical professional that helps patients with aspects of their daily life. Most orderly positions are in healthcare settings like hospitals. You’ll work with a wide range of patients, oftentimes including the disabled and elderly.
In addition to helping with daily patient activities, orderlies transport patients. They need a high level of physical fitness. They also help patients to feel more comfortable by providing companionship and support.
- Work with many types of patient
- Relatively relaxed requirements
- Ability to get familiar with hospital settings
- Help patients with bathing and eating
- Can be intensive physical work
- Relatively low average rate of pay
How to Get Started: The requirements for an orderly will vary depending on the location. In most cases, you’ll need certain medical certifications to get started such as CPR and AED certification.
Hourly Rate: $18
Basic Requirements: High school degree, 1 year experience in medical monitoring, CPR certification
A monitor technician is a medical professional that monitors different cardiovascular tests. For example, they may monitor a patient’s heart rate or their EKG results. This helps them interpret a patient’s diagnosis and prognosis.
Most monitor technician positions involve full shifts, though part time work is possible, making it possible for nursing students. Your findings will usually be reported to a lead doctor or nurse. You must have prior experience in medical monitoring to do this job on your own.
- Expertise in EKGs and heart readings
- Great for students interested in cardiovascular issues
- High average rate of pay
- Close work with other medical professionals
- 1 year experience with medical monitoring required
- Scheduling can be inflexible
How to Get Started: To become a monitor technician, some clinical settings require you to have at least a year of experience with monitoring cardiovascular machines.
EMT / Paramedic
Hourly Rate: $18
Basic Requirements: Basic training, CPR certification, EMT certification
EMTs and paramedics are emergency responders that help stabilize patients. They often ride in ambulances and provide ambulance care while patients are transported to the hospital. EMTs are entry-level carers, while paramedics are more highly qualified.
To become an EMT, you will need to do a training course and become certified. This is often a semester-long course that helps you reach your certification. You may also need a separate ambulance certification. EMTs must be very physically fit and great at communicating with both patients and their team members.
- Great medical experience
- Ability to intervene in emergencies
- Close work with other professionals
- Dynamic everyday work
- Emergency response can be intense or traumatic
- Must be extremely physically fit
How to Get Started: You’ll need to undergo a special training course and find out what certifications are required in your state. These courses vary across states and can be completed in as little as 3 weeks, depending.
Hourly Rate: $20
Basic Requirements: High school diploma, CPR certification (usually)
Hospital clerks aren’t typically involved in medical procedures or direct patient care. Instead, they work on the more administrative side of things. They are responsible for answering phones, recording information, and maintaining patient records. This is among the best jobs for nursing students who enjoy clerical desk work.
This job is more relaxed for students who don’t want a ton of extra hands-on clinical experience. At the same time, it will help you get familiar with the hospital environment. You’ll also get ample chances to interact with patients as you take down their information and answer their calls.
- Relaxed work responsibilities
- Familiarity with the hospital setting
- Ability to interact with patients
- Great for highly organized students
- No in-depth medical procedures
- May be frustrating if you don’t like clerical work
How to Get Started: If your university is partnered with a hospital, you can find out whether they have any clerical positions open. As a student, your application may be given extra consideration.
Occupational Therapy Aide
Hourly Rate: $22
Basic Requirements: Occupational therapy associate’s degree, job training
Occupational therapy aides are responsible for helping occupational therapists and their assistants. While you are unlikely to participate in direct patient care, you will prepare equipment and materials. You might also bring patients to and from their therapy rooms.
Part of this job also involves clerical work like scheduling appointments, answering the phone, and organizing patient records. Your job is to make it as easy as possible for the occupational therapist to work successfully with the patients.
- Relaxed job responsibilities
- Great for students interested in occupational therapy
- Interaction with patients
- Work within a larger team
- Can be frustrating if you dislike clerical work
- Doesn’t involve much hands-on medical practice
How to Get Started: You can find out whether any of the occupational therapists near you have openings for a new aide. If there are no openings, you may also consider volunteering until a position opens up. Try asking the faculty in your nursing program, too.
Medical Interpreter / Translator
Hourly Rate: $23
Basic Requirements: Language proficiency, 60 hours of formal training, certification
A medical interpreter or translator provides a vital service to patients that don’t speak English. Your job is to translate the doctor’s advice to the patient, as well as the patient’s information and questions to the doctor.
As an interpreter, you will need to do ongoing training to make sure you’re compliant with your clinic’s standards. You will also need to be familiar with confidentiality guidelines. Since you must be fluent in the patient’s native language, you must be bilingual.
- Very in-demand job for bilingual speakers
- Ability to help patients feel comfortable
- Work directly with patients and doctors alike
- Somewhat flexible scheduling
- Must be bilingual
- Requires a fair amount of training
How to Get Started: To be hired as an interpreter or translator, you should first complete a course teaching you about interpreting and translating before you apply for positions. These courses can be as short as 40 hours, such as from Medical Interpreting Training School.
Patient Safety Companion
Hourly Rate: $26
Basic Requirements: High school diploma, job training
A patient safety companion, also often called a hospital sitter, is someone who works with challenging patients. They provide supervision and companionship so that the patient will not need to be restrained or isolated.
This job most commonly involves working with psychiatric and dementia patients. You will need to have a comforting presence and be able to keep the patient calm. You’ll also need to complete training to learn how to deescalate unruly behavior.
- Great for students interested in psych patients
- Get to know patients intimately
- Work directly with other medical professionals
- Good clinical experience
- Can be emotionally draining
- Scheduling can be hectic
How to Get Started: If you want to be a patient companion, your best bet is to find out whether there’s a need for staff at your local hospital, mental health facility, or nursing care facility.
Hourly Rate: $11.50
Basic Requirements: Customer service experience, knowledge of safety guidelines
A dietary aide is a person who helps with maintaining a hospital kitchen. This means preparing meals, helping to serve patients, washing dishes, and cleaning materials. Hospital kitchens require a special level of cleanliness.
This job may appeal to nursing students with prior experience in food service. Running a hospital kitchen is a lot like running a cafe or a restaurant. It is also relatively simple to schedule your time.
- Work in hospital kitchen
- Responsible for kitchen cleanliness
- Great for those with food service experience
- Collaborate with kitchen staff
- Relatively low rate of pay
- May be frustrating without a food service background
How to Get Started: If you have prior kitchen experience, you can find out whether your local hospital needs extra kitchen staff. Send in your resume!
Summer Camp Nurse Assistant
Hourly Rate: $25
Basic Requirements: Associate’s degree and/or relevant medical training
A summer camp nurse assistant is among the best jobs for nursing students who want to keep their school year stress-free and work only on their off time!
A summer camp nurse assistant is responsible for supporting the other medical staff at summer camp. It’s important for the campers to receive daily medications and to have people to help in case of medical emergencies.
A nurse assistant might give first aid with small injuries, explain safety rules to the campers, and keep a lot of all visits and treatments. You might also need to create emergency kits, track supplies, and help respond to medical queries.
- Working at summer camp
- Hands-on experience with helping kids
- Part of a medical team
- Dynamic responsibilities
- Not great if you don’t like kids
- Emergency situations can be chaotic
How to Get Started: Before the summer camp season begins, you’ll want to send in your resume! As a summer job, you won’t have the same concerns about hours that year-long jobs have. You can find available postings for camp nurse assistants at Camp Nurse Jobs.
Environmental Services Tech
Hourly Rate: $18
Basic Requirements: High school diploma, 1 year of cleaning experience, good physical fitness
The purpose of an environmental services tech is to make sure that a healthcare facility stays clean. The duties are similar to those of a janitor, except that you have a greater responsibility toward sanitation.
This job involves a variety of different cleaning tasks. You’ll mop and buff the floors, sanitize hospital rooms, and dispose of waste. You’ll also distribute linens and track their usage across departments. Toilet paper refill is also your responsibility.
- Cleaning and sanitizing
- Wide variety of daily tasks
- Great for those who like cleaning
- Great for organizing and tracking supplies
- Waste disposal can be unpleasant
- Not everyone enjoys constant cleaning tasks
How to Get Started: You can find out whether any of the clinics, doctor’s offices, or hospitals near you are looking for an environmental services tech. See if any of your professors will vouch for you! You can also search for Environmental Services Technician jobs on job sites such as Indeed.
Hourly Rate: $12
Basic Requirements: Associate’s degree and/or psychiatric medical experience
A psychiatric aide is a healthcare worker that works with psych patients. Sometimes psychiatric patients cannot take care of themselves. In this role, you will help provide care. Since this is an entry level position, you will be supervised by other healthcare workers.
Psychiatric aides tend to be the most direct line of contact with mental health patients. They administer medications, monitor vital signs, take notes, and observe patient behavior overall. They may also help patients with daily tasks like eating, bathing, and dressing.
- Direct contact with psych patients
- Supervision by experienced healthcare staff
- Experience with psychiatric settings
- Not much training required
- Relatively low rate of pay
- Not ideal for students uninterested in psych work
How to Get Started: You should look for job postings in your local hospital or mental health facility. It helps if you have clinical experience working with psych patients already.
Telemetry Monitor Tech
Hourly Rate: $27
Basic Requirements: High school diploma, formal telemetry training
A telemetry monitor tech is responsible for monitoring the cardiac activity of all patients. This is different from regular monitor techs, who make observations about just one patient at a time. Part of a telemetry tech’s job is to prepare and interpret telemetry data.
You will use the central monitoring station to look at all the patients at once. You will need to observe the patients’ cardiac rhythms and write down any irregularities in their medical records. In addition, you’ll need to coordinate the monitoring equipment to make sure supplies are available.
- Central monitoring of patient data
- Some one-on-one patient interaction
- Great for students interested in cardiovascular patients
- Experience with maintaining equipment and supplies
- Central monitoring can be dull
- Observing patient rhythms can be frustrating
How to Get Started: Work on getting experience with telemetry machines, then see if you can get a position in your local hospital network.
What makes a good job for nursing students?
A flexible schedule that can work around your busy class schedule is a must. With jobs like freelance writing, you can choose your own hours. When you need more time to study, you can take time off the job. When you need a little extra money, you can pick up more work again.
Having a flexible schedule can be amazing for nursing students, but you may need help staying organized. Check out some of these nursing school planners to keep your busy days straight.
Imagine a digital planner that keeps you organized, goal-setting, and mindful - now you can have it all - weekly and monthly spreads, SMART goal setting and reflection, and even affirmation and journaling to keep you grounded.
Jobs That Give You Time to Study
A job shouldn’t be so intensive that it removes all your time to study. One option is to get a summer job like being a summer camp nursing aide. That way, your schedule is totally free to study when the next school semester starts. If you’re not yet in nursing school, you can also refer to our guide on what nursing school is like.
Enhanced Nursing Skills
Many jobs will give you better experience in different clinical settings. For example, being an occupational therapy aide will give you a leg up if you are interested in pursuing this more. Being a psychiatric aide will give you hands-on experience with psych patients and allow for discovery into this specialization.
You can leverage these experiences by including them on your resume or in job interviews. Learn how to track these skills with this guide on how to set SMART goals in nursing school.
A Job with Unconventional Schedules
Unconventional schedules are ideal if you want to attend all your classes. Some students use this opportunity to get part-time jobs with night shifts. You’re likely to find these opportunities with areas like telemetry monitor technician work.
You already have enough stress keeping up with classes! A low-stress job is among the best jobs for nursing students to strike a balance between school and work. If you like organization and clerical work, you might consider being a hospital clerk. While this doesn’t involve hands-on procedures with patients, it does let you become familiar with hospital administrative procedures.
Nursing Student Jobs FAQ
Is it possible to have a full time job while going to nursing school?
Some people manage full time jobs while doing nursing school, but a part time job is much less intensive and easier to schedule around classes. We don’t recommend full-time work unless you are in dire need of the money to make ends meet.
How can you survive financially during nursing school?
It’s ok to take out student loans for nursing school, but you should do your best to look for scholarships and other financial aid first. After that, you might consider picking up a part time job to help you make ends meet.
Do nursing students get paid for clinicals?
Typically, nursing students receive college credit for their clinicals, but they do not receive financial compensation. Learn more about what clinicals are in nursing school.
The best jobs for nursing students will vary largely depending on your needs. Maybe you want to branch into other healthcare specialties by becoming a phlebotomist and using that to leverage your nursing career. Or, perhaps you want the flexibility and ease of freelance writing from the convenience of your own home. Whatever you prefer, this list has a great part time job for you!
You’ll need to decide whether you’re pursuing part time or full time work. Then you’ll need to figure out how to work your job into your schedule. But remember, school should always be the main priority! That said, earning a little extra cash to get by isn’t a bad thing, especially if it gives you potential career experience.