How to Become a Nurse Freelance Writer (in 5 Steps)  

nurse freelance writer - featured image

 

Are you a nursing professional with an interest in educating readers on medical and healthcare topics?

If yes, you could consider becoming a nurse freelance writer.

Given the rise in nursing and healthcare demand, nurse writing is a career option you can consider without a second thought.

On average, nurse writers earn between $18.5K to $128.5K a year!

I may have introduced the term “nurse freelance writer” to some of you, while others may have already heard about it.

In this article, I will tell you how you can become one.

 

What Does a Nurse Freelance Writer Do?

 

By using their communication skills, nurse freelance writers create various types of content. These include creating copies for websites, online magazines, blogs, social media content, etc.

Regularly, a nurse freelance writer must:

Now that you are clear about the expectations of a nurse freelance writer’s role, I’ll tell you how you can become one in 5 simple steps.

 

5 Steps on Becoming a Nurse Freelance Writer

 

1. Work on your qualifications

 

nursing school graduate

 

a. Earn a nursing degree

 

Get a BSc degree in nursing. A diploma in nursing may not be a non-negotiable requirement but it opens you more job opportunities and higher potential earnings.

Getting into a nursing program requires you to submit various applications. That would include academic transcripts, essays, and letters of recommendation, among others.

 

b. Get a license

 

For you to become a registered nurse, you must pass the NCLEX-RN or National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing conducts two exams. This is to test the competence level of Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN). You can learn more about the exam here.

 

c. Gain experience

 

Writing about the subject becomes easier if you have hands-on experience in the field. Therefore, if you’re thinking about becoming a freelance nurse writer, I recommend you practice as a registered nurse first. It will give you a better perspective on real-life medical situations.

Some areas you could gain experience in are mental health and emergency. You could also try more specialized fields such as gerontology, pediatrics, oncology, etc.

 

d. Aim for a medical writing certification

 

Earning this certification isn’t a mandate, but I suggest you become Medical Writer Certified (MWC®) professional. The Medical Writing Certification Commission gives this credential in collaboration with the American Medical Writers Association. It will help you in your career as a nurse freelance writer.

 

Some of the eligibility criteria include:

  1. Have a bachelor’s or advanced degree in any subject
  2. Two years of work experience (paid) in the medical communication field

 

2. Establish realistic goals and expectations

 

nurse with set goals

 

When you freelance, you’d be self-employed and have the freedom to choose your career path and what contracts to accept.

With nurse freelance writing, determine what you want to get out of it.

 

Ask yourself:

  1. Do I want an increased income?
  2. Do I need to pay off my student loan immediately?
  3. Should I switch from a full-time job to freelancing?
  4. Am I doing it out of passion?

Then, pen down your expectations in terms of nurse freelance writing:

  1. Is it meant for you?
  2. What are the costs related to freelancing and can I afford them?
  3. Do I have the time to dedicate to freelancing?
  4. If the workflow is less, can I manage with my current savings?
  5. Am I self-motivated and disciplined?
  6. Is this the right time to freelance?

 

Only when you have definitive answers to the above questions should you think of beginning your journey as a nurse freelance writer.

 

3. Have a plan ready

 

planner journal

Failing to plan is like planning to fail. Work out a plan before embarking on a career as a nurse freelance writer.

 

a. Create a business plan

 

Once you’ve figured out your passion, move to create a successful business plan. Many freelancers do this to keep things organized and set measurable goals for their efforts. As an example, you could refer to the U.S. Small Business Administration site.

To stay away from any roadblocks, read and research potential tax and financial implications. You could also consider hiring a certified public accountant.

They can help you choose the business type. This includes Sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, S Corporation, and Partnership.

 

b. Pick your niche

 

As a freelancer for nurse writing, you are open to choosing across specialties. Focus on a niche that will help you build a more trusted brand and show your expertise in that field.

For example, you could choose to write:

  1. Journal articles
  2. Regulatory writing
  3. Health journalism
  4. CME
  5. Content market writing, etc.

 

c. Market yourself

 

To earn potential clients, it’s important to have a brilliant portfolio. Market your brand (nurse writing) through a website, blog, newsletter publishing, social media advertising, etc.

I highly recommend starting your own website, as it’s one of the best marketing tools to promote self-brands. Posting online content will enable end-users and potential clients to see your work.

You should also sign up for freelance platforms such as Freelancer, Upwork, Fiverr, etc. to get work. Remember to link your website with each profile you have in those job portals.

 

4. Manage your finances and time

 

managing finances

 

Nothing comes free, and it applies to your freelance services, too.

Set up correct rates for client projects and do not fall for “low quality” clients. By that, I mean, clients who pay ridiculously low rates for heavy worded articles or those with unverified payment records.

Set up a proper billing system for payment collection and create invoices to help you keep track of your receivables. This would also help for tax filing purposes. Here’s a tip: use the free invoice template by Google Sheets!

When it comes to freelancing, time management is essential. If you do not have a daily routine, you’re likely to get burnout in no time.

As a mandate, set up a time you would dedicate to freelancing. Indulge in self-care and have space for your personal needs and family obligations.

 

5. Ensure you have a proper work environment

 

home workspace

Having a dedicated workspace helps increase your productivity as a freelance writer.

 

For your creative juices to flow smoothly, you need space, peace, and a proper work setup.

A quiet space to work in with minimal distractions and proper furniture is ideal. This helps you become more productive and stoke your creative thinking.

Lease a room or opt for co-working spaces if working from home isn’t an option for you.

 

Final Thoughts

 

A medical writer who uses his or her nursing profession’s experience to write healthcare-based topics is a nurse writer.

If you cannot go full-time yet as a nurse freelance writer, do it as a side hustle first and work at your own pace. The important thing is to get started on this journey.

I hope these steps will help kick start your career as a nurse freelance writer. Have I missed anything? Drop-in your comments below.

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time blogger, educator, digital marketer, freelancer, editor and content manager. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to achieve freedom from 9-5 through online creativity. My site is a one-stop-shop for writers, bloggers, publishers, content enthusiasts and freelancers who want to be independent, earn more money and create beautiful things. Feel free to check my archive containing over 400 articles and reach out if you need anything. Ah yes, and stay awesome!