Woman on a laptop looking thoughtful

How to Become a Freelance Nurse Writer

Duties, Responsibilities, Requirements, Certifications, Job Outlook, and Salary

Woman on a laptop looking thoughtful

Freelance Nurse Writers fill a very special role within the medical field. These nursing professionals are writers that are passionate about educating the public on various aspects of the healthcare industry. Freelance Nurse Writers apply their own knowledge and experience to their writing to give readers a unique perspective on nursing and healthcare in general.

We’ve put together this career guide to help you better understand the Freelance Nurse Writer profession. Working as a Freelance Nurse Writer could be a great career (or side hustle) for nurses who are creative and love writing. Many healthcare organizations and websites are constantly looking for writers who can provide insightful articles for their platforms.

(Click here to see our full list of the best work from home nursing jobs)

Continue reading to learn more about the requirements, responsibilities, training, salary, and job outlook of Freelance Nurse Writers.

Freelance Nurse Writer Definition

What is a Freelance Nurse Writer?

Freelance Nurse Writers are nursing professionals who educate others on various healthcare topics by writing about their personal experience in the field. For example, a Geriatric Nurse who enjoys writing could provide an inside look at what it’s like to care for the elderly through one of their articles. Nursing professionals who possess a combination of clinical knowledge and writing talent can take advantage of the specialized opportunities that are available to Freelance Nurse Writers in the field.

Freelance Nurse Writer Duties & Responsibilities

What Does a Freelance Nurse Writer Do?

Freelance Nurse Writers are skilled communicators who advocate for patients and engage in nuanced dialogue within the healthcare industry. Some Nurse Writers may craft copy for websites, web-based magazines, blogging, social media, and more.

Some of the day-to-day job responsibilities of a Freelance Nurse Writer include:

  • Writing with specific language for patient safety in mind
  • Communicating in a detailed, specific, and accurate manner
  • Using their own experiences or those of a colleague to create informational content
  • Following instructions from clients and employers regarding tone, subject matter, and content
  • Editing and revising as necessary
  • Interviewing subjects for content
  • Providing detailed sources for their articles
  • Meeting tight deadlines and/or quick turnarounds
  • Consulting or guiding clients on how to portray nurses in TV shows, movies, books, etc.

Where Do Freelance Nurse Writers Work?

The majority of  Freelance Nurse Writers have the ability to work from the comfort of their own home. However, some Freelance Nurse Writers can work in-person for healthcare organizations such as:

  • Medical journals
  • Guides
  • Various health-related publications (i.e., newspapers, magazines, websites, etc.)
  • Academic papers
  • Hospitals
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Television or movie studios
  • Publication companies

Freelance Nurse Writer Hours

While most Freelance Nurse Writers work during normal business hours, they may also work evenings or weekends depending on their personal schedule. Many Nurse Writers work independently and consult for their clients which allows them to work on their own time. Many Freelance Nurse Writers also hold part-time or full-time nursing positions and consider writing a side hustle to be paired alongside their hands-on nursing role.

Freelance Nurse Writer Skills

Becoming a Freelance Nurse Writer might be a great fit for you if you:

  • Bring ideas to the table
  • Enjoy independent and remote work
  • Have strong writing and communication skills
  • Excel at time management
  • Are extremely reliable
  • Are receptive to feedback and improvement
  • Are empathetic and compassionate by nature
  • Are open to consulting for clients

Medical professional pushing a job search button

Freelance Nurse Writer Schooling & Certification

How Long Does it Take to Become a Freelance Nurse Writer?

What Degree Do You Need to Be a Freelance Nurse Writer?

Before you can apply to become a Freelance Nurse Writer, you will typically need to earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. This is because in order to become a Freelance Nurse Writer, you must have experience working as a Registered Nurse (RN). Depending on the employer/client, though, Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) can also seek work in this area.

If you’d like to become a Freelance Nurse Writer, then you’ll likely need to follow these steps:

1. Earn a Nursing Degree

The first step to becoming a Freelance Nurse Writers is to earn a nursing degree. The type of degree you chose to earn is up to you, however, we recommend earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. By earning your BSN degree, you’ll be setting yourself up for better job opportunities, higher earning potential, and substantially greater job outlook ADNs, LVNs, or LPNs.

Candidates of BSN programs must usually submit various application materials, such as academic transcripts, GRE scores, personal essays, and letters of recommendation.

Core nursing classes during a BSN program often include the following topics:

  • Professional nursing
  • Health assessment
  • Family nursing
  • Medical and surgical care
  • Nursing management
  • Psychosocial nursing

2. Pass the NCLEX-RN Licensure Exam

In order to officially become a Registered Nurse, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) developed two exams to test the competence of aspiring RNs and LPNs/LVNs.

Learn more about the NCLEX and what to expect with this detailed FAQ section.

(Click here to learn how to become a nurse)

3. Gain Experience Working as an RN

If you’re looking to become a Freelance Nurse Writer, it’s important that you gain hands-on experience working in the field and develop your writing skills. Some notable areas of experience are emergency or mental health fields. Other common specializations include pediatrics, gerontology, oncology, and more.

Medical students in a hallway

4. Consider Earning Certification with the Medical Writing Certification Commission.

While earning a certification is not typically required, it might be beneficial to earn a Medical Writer Certified (MWC®) credential from the Medical Writing Certification Commission in collaboration with the American Medical Writers Association.

Eligibility requirements for the MWC exam include:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in any field
  • Possess two years of paid work experience in the field of medical communication

Freelance Nurse Writer School Cost

So, how much does it cost to become a Freelance Nurse Writer? As previously stated, most nurse writers are Registered Nurses, which means they will likely have earned an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

It’s highly recommended that aspiring nurses pursue a BSN degree. Not only does a BSN open more doors, but it often leads to higher salaries and greater leadership roles.

Tuition fees for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree normally depend on the institution. However, you can probably expect to pay anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000.

Below are other considerations to keep in mind:

  • Tuition costs do not always include expenses like books, program fees, or other mandatory fees
  • Most schools offer some form of financial aid

Work from Home Opportunities

Freelance Nurse Writing jobs are almost always remote. The virtual component is partly what makes this job so appealing for full or part-time work. All you will need is a computer and a good internet connection.

If you have several nursing interests, you could combine them to write about one specialty. For example, a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner with an interest in health informatics could write about new policies and systems in their field.

It would also be helpful to peruse professional associations, network as much as possible, and develop your portfolio. On Clippings.me, you can even create a free portfolio! Websites like Upwork can help you find clients, too. Check out job boards on registerednursing.org, content on nursejournal.org, and job listings on LinkedIn.

Other helpful organizations include the American Medical Writers Association and the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Hospital manager on the phone

Freelance Nurse Writer’s Salary

How Much Does a Freelance Nurse Writer Make?

The salary of a Freelance Nurse Writer will depend on several factors. For instance, is this a full-time or part-time job? Is the writer experienced or just starting?

According to Salary.com, Freelance Content Writers earns an average annual wage of about $53,000 or around $26.00 per hour. However, their salary can usually range anywhere from $44,000 to $61,000 per year.

(Click here to learn about the highest paid nursing jobs)

Freelance Nurse Writer Job Outlook

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not offer data for Freelance Nurse Writers at this time, they have predicted general growth for Registered Nurses throughout the next decade. According to the BLS, overall employment of RNs is expected to grow 7 percent by 2029. This growth is attributed to the aging baby-boomer population as well as an increasing emphasis on preventive care.

Why Pursue a Career as a Freelance Nurse Writer?

If you’re a nurse or aspiring nurse who loves to write, then you might want to pursue a career as a Freelance Nurse Writer! This field will only continue to grow with the ever-expanding healthcare industry. It can also provide extra income for RNs who are seeking part-time work. As you can see, nurse writing is a versatile field—it’s all about what you choose to make of it.

If you’re an aspiring nurse but don’t know where to begin, you can earn your Vocational Nursing diploma, BSN degree, or enroll in any of our other nursing programs at Unitek College.