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Nursing Side Gigs: Ear Piercing

Nursing Side Gigs: Ear Piercing

This is part of a regular series about side gigs—nurses with interesting side jobs or hobbies. This month, we spotlight a nurse who performs ear piercings.


While many people have gotten their ears pierced at a kiosk at the mall, others are getting theirs done by nurses. Samantha Alvarado, RN, Clinical Nurse Manager at Rowan , took time to answer our questions about her experience. (While Alvarado works at this full-time, it can be a side gig for many nurses.)

How did you get interested in performing ear piercing on the side? How long have you been doing it?  

I have always had a keen interest in piercing ears. For several years, I worked in a pediatrician’s office, and we were receiving requests daily for ear piercings. One of the physicians in the practice knew I did piercings, and we had so many requests by parents, he asked if I would manage the program. Remember, your choice was limited to your pediatrician or [a place] at the mall.

Rowan nurse

How often do you work piercing ears—part-time? If so, how many hours/days a week do you work? Where do you go to do it?  

I work full-time, mostly out of our Upper East Side Location, which opened last August. We are always booked with a line for walk-ins. In addition, we also do in-home piercings and “piercing parties.”  I travel Coast to Coast to onboard and train all of our nurses in-person to make sure we provide the best and most consistent experience.

How did you get into this type of work? Why do you enjoy it?  

For as long as I can remember, I have always been curious about ear piercing. I used to pierce my friends’ ears in high school. When I became a Registered Nurse, I liked to do piercings on the side, as it’s one of the more happy and festive occasions where needles are involved.

I’ve always felt it to be a unique opportunity for people to express and celebrate their individuality. Specific to Rowan, I became involved pretty much from the beginning when we were a company of about four people. A friend introduced me to the founder, Louisa Serene Schneider, and after speaking with her for five minutes I felt so aligned with her vision. Her enthusiasm and her prioritization of “safety and celebration” really hit home for me.

Currently we employ hundreds of nurses nationwide.

If nurses are interested in getting involved in this kind of work, what would you suggest they do? Are Rowan places only located in certain states?    

We are always looking to hire Licensed Practical Nurses. The business has grown considerably over the last year due to Covid. In addition to the stand-alone locations on the Upper East side, and Westport outpost (coming this summer) we have studios across the country in local Target stores.

As an alternative option, we have the capability to send nurses pretty much anywhere to do in-home piercings. Nurses who are interested in learning more about our processes can go directly to heyrowan.com to learn more about the job and apply on our website. In addition to the multiple Target locations we are already in, we anticipate having around 200 locations across the United States this summer. And we are hiring.

What do you get out of it beside the money?

I’d say the satisfaction of knowing that I am providing people with a safe and memorable ear-piercing experience.

Is there anything that is important for our readers to know?   

We are opening multiple new locations in California and are looking to hire hundreds of Licensed Practical Nurses.