If you’re a retired nurse looking to keep your skills current and pick up some extra cash, you have an edge. With the current nursing shortage, the healthcare industry offers a wide selection of part-time, on-call and even seasonal job opportunities for retired RNs and LPNs/LVNs. Here’s a look at some of the options.
Work in Home Health
Lesley Peterson, office manager at Addus HealthCare, a national home healthcare agency, says her company employs approximately 30 retired nurses in its Concord, California, branch alone.
To qualify for home health nursing jobs through Addus, nurses must have one year of recent acute-care nursing experience. “If a candidate has good assessment skills, we can train them on how to work as a home health nurse,” says Peterson, who notes the agency’s continual need for qualified nurses.
Nurses can work four- to 12-hour shifts visiting continuous-care patients who live close to their own homes. “Some nurses choose to work one four-hour shift a week,” Peterson says.
Although home health agencies traditionally pay less than hospitals, home health work is also typically less physically demanding and offers nurses the chance to work independently. Nurses are paid weekly, and those who work 32 hours a week or more are eligible to receive benefits.
Be a School Nurse Sub
Most public school districts keep a registry of nurses who are available to work as substitute nurses. These jobs require an RN degree and a current nursing license in the state in which you wish to work.
“When our regular school nurses are absent, we rely on substitute nurses to fill in for a four- to eight-hour shift at one of our schools,” says Darlene Covell of the Shawnee Mission School District in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, where substitute nurses are paid $110 a day.
To register as a substitute school nurse, contact your local public school district. You will be placed on the district registry and called when you’re needed.
Staff Flu Shot Clinics
Every year, between October and December, Maxim Healthcare Services, a national medical staffing and home health firm, employs a number of retired nurses at $18 an hour to staff its flu clinics.
“Nurses are required to have an active RN license and a CPR card,” says Shara Martin of Maxim’s Denver human resources department. “The shifts are two to four hours long, and our schedules are flexible. In the Denver area alone, we staff over 200 flu clinics.”
Maxim offers an orientation session before nurses start work at the flu clinics.
Many other hospitals and health clinics also use retired nurses to staff their flu clinics. Check with your local hospital’s HR department for opportunities.
Hit the Road
For retired nurses who want an all-expense paid trip to visit their grandchildren in California or who have always wanted to visit Hawaii, travel nursing offers a variety of possibilities.
“Travel nursing is the perfect job for retired nurses who want to use their skills while traveling around the country,” says Shari Walsh of Valley Healthcare Systems, a travel nursing agency.
Valley offers nurses three-month travel assignments in locations across the United States. Nurses must have one year of recent nursing experience. Assignments are typically in hospital medical/surgical units, emergency rooms and intensive-care units.
“Nurses have to commit to a minimum of three months, and they generally work eight- to 12-hour shifts,” Walsh says. “We have many nurses who only want to travel during the summer and who request a destination where they can visit family or play golf on their days off.”
Walsh says that travel nursing offers the same competitive pay as hospitals and that Valley pays travel, housing, medical, dental and life insurance for its employees.
Fill Needs Closer to Home
Some hospitals are starting to use retired nurses to lead staff training sessions for new employees and work flexible shifts during high-volume periods. Contact the medical centers, long-term-care facilities and clinics in your area to see if they can use you in these capacities on a part-time or on-call basis.