Have you noticed that nurse practitioners are becoming more
common in this country?
We are providing patients with essential medical services. We, as nurse practitioners, are able to offer diagnostic and treatment services for a wide range of illnesses. While many nurse practitioners might be happy at an office that is run by someone else, there are some who consider becoming an entrepreneur.
Starting your own nurse practitioner practice can be
lucrative and gives you an opportunity to help those patients in need, but you
should understand what you are getting into. I personally have been providing
patients with care at my clinic for many years and the knowledge I
have acquired is invaluable. If you are considering becoming a nurse
entrepreneur, be sure to learn more about the top characteristics that others
in the industry possess. This way, you can do a more thorough analysis of
1. The Ability To Be In Control
In one scientific publication, it was found that one of
the most important traits for a nurse entrepreneur is the ability to be and
remain in control over any type of situation. When you become an entrepreneur
and start your own nurse practice, you need to be in charge of various aspects
all at once. You need to be a leader and have the ability to recognize
situations that may spiral out of control quickly – and then take charge to
avoid such problems. For me, the ability to act fast and be in control at all
times is critical to the success of my practice.
2. The Ability To Analyze A
Situation And Know When It’s Okay To Take A Risk
Another critical characteristic lies in your ability to take
risks at the right times. There are many risks that have to be taken to succeed
in the business world. Understanding how these risks will play out and when it
is appropriate to take such a risk is critical. I often find myself taking
risks, but only when I am able to understand how my decisions might play out.
3. A Need For Achievement
You should have a desire for achievement. Once you have
established your new office, you need to recognize the fact that there is
always room to grow. You should know how to set goals – both short term and long-term
goals. You should also know how to continue striving toward those goals,
ultimately ensuring a consistency in achievements reached.
Innovation – the ability to adapt to new things – is a characteristic that is now more critical than ever before in a nurse practitioner. You should be able to adapt to the latest technological advancements that have been made. Plus, you need to be able to accept new changes in the industry and ensure you always have the latest treatments for patients.
5. Ambiguity Tolerance
Finally, ambiguity tolerance is another characteristic that
you definitely need. As a nurse practitioner, there will be times where the
result of something you strived for turns out as a disappointment. You should
be able to bounce back and avoid thinking negatively about such events.
As a nurse entrepreneur, I have a lot
of responsibilities. Understanding what it takes is important. I believe that
the characteristics outlined in this post are crucial to nurse practitioners
who are looking to take the entrepreneurial route.
You started out on your journey through nursing school starry eyed, young, and idealist; ready to save the world and make it a healthier place. You put in hours upon hours of studying, memorizing, and working hard on your clinicals, and finally you stand at your graduation, proudly accepting your well-deserved diploma; about to embark on your dream career path as an RN clad in your new nursing scrubs.
Yet, in real life it’s not always easy
to keep that spring in your step and joy in your daily routine as a nurse
working in a hospital or facility. The hours are long and the work is often
grueling, making this not the ideal work situation for everyone.
There are those who are competent and caring, yet feel stagnated and restricted in their nursing position. Others worked on the floor for years, and feel like they are ready for a change, yet still want to stay within the same line of work. They seek a job that allows for more flexibility in terms of schedule, or dare I say, they dream of someday being their own boss. If you thought being a registered nurse means you are stuck working under others at a facility, then think again, because this amazing possibility of being your own boss does actually exist!
There are several ways you can create a lucrative and fulfilling career, while still pursuing the dreams of your youth and utilizing your qualities and talents that make you the idealistic, young (at heart), and extremely caring nurse. One way to achieve this is by becoming a nurse entrepreneur and starting your own business. In your role as a nurse entrepreneur you can be self-employed, all while doing the work that you love — it’s a win-win!
What work can be done as a nurse
There are several career options in the world of nursing entrepreneurship. Choose one that fits your needs, personality, and personal preference, and start enjoying your independence today.
If you are unsure which direction you want to take with your new entrepreneurship, have no fear! Changes are always difficult, but the benefits that you will enjoy once everything is in place will far outweigh any hardship you had to deal with initially.
It may be a good idea to keep your current position and cut your hours if possible, while devoting the other hours to starting your own business. This will make the change less overwhelming, and will enable you to still generate income and benefits from your part time position to tide you over until your own business is all set up and running. This will also allow you to slowly figure out what will work best for you in a more relaxed manner, as opposed to feeling pressured to figure everything out quickly as you start your new life as an independent nurse.
It’s also good to do some
self-exploration and ask yourself which parts of your current position you
enjoy most, or are passionate about. This will give you an idea which direction
you would like to take with your business and what area you want to focus on.
You may go through many ideas before you hit the one that feels right to you,
but don’t worry, that is totally normal.
Here are a few nurse self-employment ideas based on skills and areas of focus:
If you enjoy working one on one with patients by promoting wellness and helping those suffering from chronic diseases live their life to the fullest, then becoming a certified nurse coach might be the perfect job for you. A nurse coach focuses on promoting wellness by creating customized care plans for patients with chronic conditions or health related issues. They can also open wellness clinics or become holistic nurses. A holistic nurse is a licensed nurse who focuses on the mind, body, and spirit connection to promote wellness and good health.
If you are good at analyzing situations, identifying problems, and coming up with solutions to resolve the issues, then a nurse consultant may be your calling. You can work independently and get contracted jobs with hospitals, health care facilities, or even insurance companies to help with internal audits in identifying billing fraud and other compliance issues.
Or you can also focus on a specific niche such as legal work and become a legal nurse consultant. A legal nurse consultant provides invaluable expertise and works together with a legal team in assisting the attorney with understanding medical terms, reading through medical records, and deciphering the medical jargon in medical-legal cases. A legal nurse is needed in medical malpractice cases, as well as personal injury lawsuits. They do not practice law, but fulfill a unique role in the legal process, assisting in bringing about a positive outcome of the case in favor of the client.
Are you someone that enjoys educating others in health and nursing information? Then becoming a nurse educator might the perfect job choice for you. There are several ways you can fulfill this important role. You can become a teacher or trainer who formally teaches in nursing school or a speaker who presents at educational seminars and presentations. Another option in the field of nursing education is becoming a nurse writer. If you enjoy putting pen to paper then this is a great option. There is always a demand for high quality nursing and health related articles written by registered nurses, and the pay can be quite good as well.
So, for all those nurses out there who feel stifled at their current job, there is hope for a brighter future by starting your own business. Do your research, put your feelers out, and see where you find yourself comfortable and enjoy the freedom of becoming a nurse entrepreneur, all while living the dreams of your youth.
Many nurses find that they experience burnout in the profession and want to create an opportunity to work for themselves without the stress and wear-and-tear that they get from working in the hospital setting. Most importantly though, they want more flexibility and control of their work. Here are 3 flexible nurse entrepreneur business ideas to get you thinking about your next nursing opportunity. After all, a nursing practice can take many forms.
What will yours be?
1. Nurse Health Coach
Nurse health coaches have the ability to actualize their patient’s health care goals outside of the hospital setting by helping them develop the healthiest version of themselves. By teaching patients how to take optimal care of themselves, the nurse health coach empowers them for life.
Nurse health coaches work with patients to provide guidance and resources to assist their patients in living a more healthy and balanced lifestyle. In terms of nursing experience, nurse health coaches generally have many years of direct patient care in the hospital setting and have the desire to have a more immediate and positive health impact on their patient’s lives.
Many nurse health coaches are entrepreneurs who work in private practice, although some hospitals and doctor’s offices hire nurse health coaches as well. According to some surveys, nurse coaches can earn similar or even more income than they do working in hospitals.
Nurse health coaches help their patients by
working with them in the following ways:
- Understanding patient’s unique health care dynamics
- Assessing patients’ readiness for change
- Identifying client opportunities and issues for improved health
- Identifying and setting goals to achieve optimal health
- Encouraging and empowering patients to reach their goals
Perks to becoming a nurse health coach:
Nurse health coaches generally have more autonomy in this role than they do in other nursing careers. While nurse health coaches must work very hard to be successful, the career offers flexibility with setting one’s own schedule, work atmosphere, and patients.
2. Legal Nurse Consultant
A legal nurse consultant (LNC) is an RN expert for legal cases involving medical incidents and issues. LNCs are extremely valuable because they bring clinical expertise and medical experience to attorneys in the litigation process.
LNCs clinically analyze and evaluate facts and testimony related to the delivery of nursing and other health care services and outcomes. They also analyze and review the nature and cause of injuries in legal cases.
Legal nurse consultants’ responsibilities vary
depending on the employer and often include:
- Attending medical reviews by independent medical examiners
- Testifying in court as an expert witness
- Reviewing cases to identify strengths and weaknesses
- Preparing chronologies or timelines for medical records
- Working with lawyers to plan health care litigation
- Drafting legal documents in medical cases under the guidance of an attorney
- Educating attorneys and paralegals about health care issues
Perks to becoming a legal nurse consultant:
This option makes for a great nurse entrepreneurial business idea because LNCs have the ability to combine their clinical expertise and medical experience with the law. As business owners, LNCs can work as much or as little as they want and have complete control over what they accomplish. In addition, LNCs can often choose which clients they work with and types of cases they consult on.
3. Nurse Blogger/Freelance Writer
Nurse bloggers and freelance writers create and manage websites containing useful information for readers. They are generally developed based on the creator’s medical and/or personal niche.
A great benefit to becoming a nurse blogger/writer is that each post or article can be written from a completely different perspective. Nurses work in many different specialties with diverse patient populations. Therefore, each nurse has different skill sets and experiences within their career that they can draw unique information from. In other words, nurses can bring a lot of life experience into their writing.
There is a wide range of nurse bloggers on the
internet writing about: nurse mom lifestyle, nursing informatics, nurse
money topics, new graduate nursing, nurse humor, nursing apparel, nursing
specialties… and the list goes on and on.
As a nurse blogger or freelance writer, you can:
- Set your own work hours and schedule
- Have total creative control over your content and products
- Improve and continue to develop your writing skills each time you create a new piece
- Become a better thinker because the writing process forces you to pause and think deeper
- Develop strong opinions about nurse topics that matter
- Discover thoughts and ideas about the nursing profession that you didn’t even know you had
Perks to becoming a nurse blogger or freelance
Nurse bloggers and freelance writers are also entrepreneurs who manage their own businesses. Many often also have full-time positions and do their writing/website design in the evenings or weekends. There is no set schedule, therefore they can decide to work or not work whenever they want.
Arizona State University is helping more students pursuing health-related degrees to marry their knowledge and curriculum with entrepreneurship, in order to help them forge stronger paths in their healthcare careers. The ASU Health Entrepreneur Accelerator Lab (HEALab) program helps teach students to think up new solutions, design a business model, and apply to the ASU Venture Devils Program for further mentorship and funding.
While their Tempe campus has hosted their business,
engineering, and design schools for a long time, the health-centered colleges are
based in the downtown Phoenix and West campuses. Combining the resources and
strengths from these schools and ASU’s office of Entrepreneurship and
Innovation creates opportunities for nursing and health students pursuing their
bachelors and masters degrees, both in the classroom and in the workplace.
From Classroom to Competition to Career
Students are already showing major successes from the program, as shared by the Phoenix Business Journal. Ramona Ramadas, who has been pursuing her Masters in Healthcare Innovation through ASU’s online courses, recently competed in the Nurse-Pitch competition at the 2019 Healthcare and Management Systems Society conference and placed third. Her startup, New Trails Navigators, is an AI-driven platform designed to train incarcerated inmates, prepping to release and re-enter the workforce, to begin a career in healthcare. The mentoring and networking Ms. Ramada has been able to gain through the HEALab has helped her win three additional competitions and awards, including the Pakis Social Entrepreneurship Challenge and the Alliance for the American Dream.
In addition to being a resource for Arizona State students, the HEALab has been used by students at other schools. Back in February, students from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine visited the lab and other school campuses and centers, through a week long Entrepreneurship and Innovation selective with Dr. Rick Hall, CONHI’s Senior Director of Health Innovation. These students used applied human-centered design techniques and lean startup business tools to develop application ideas.
The HEALab offers monthly guest speakers and one-on-one mentoring to all ASU community members, faculty, and students, including those from different campuses, and those taking online coursework. For more information about the HEALab, click here.
Correction, March 27, 2019: We initially reported that New Trails Navigators works with newly incarcerated inmates, instead of inmates who are preparing to release and re-enter the workforce. We have edited the article to reflect this correction.
Are you thinking about using your expertise as a nurse to launch a business? Do you have innovative ideas about patient care? Are you eager to create a new opportunity at the forefront of health care that is independent, flexible, and profitable?
Perhaps owning your own business is your next move.
As a nurse entrepreneur, you control everything, from your calendar and career path to your success or failure. Whether you plan to launch a nursing education business, work as a legal nurse consultant, start a community-based elder care business, or sell products, growing a profitable business requires information, inspiration, and insight into industry needs.
So what do you need to know and do to avoid costly mistakes?
Adopt an entrepreneurial mindset.Thinking like a business owner instead of an employee, is essential, says Michelle Podlesn, RN, president of the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) and author of Unconventional Nurse: Going from Burnout to Bliss! “When you realize you are your business, you start looking at everything with fresh eyes from that viewpoint. And yes, every nurse can adopt it. In my book, I ask nurses to make this paradigm shift so that they can strengthen and prosper their careers, regardless of their setting,” says Podlesni,
Create a business plan. It can be simple, but having one is essential. In short, it’s a description of your business goals and the strategies you will use to meet them. Update and revise when necessary.
Clarify your business focus or niche. Be clear about your idea’s scope and target audience. Who are your intended customers for your services or products?
Research market place need. Ensure a market exists for what you want to do with your business. Do a market analysis to help you see potential opportunities and threats as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your competition.
Find a mentor. Relationships matter. Get a mentor you trust and respect to brainstorm ideas. Learn from his or her mistakes and setbacks. When you are ready to take your business to the next level, consider a business coach.
Keep learning. Developing your business skills is a wise move. Running a business requires skills in marketing, negotiating, and branding. Read widely, attend conferences, take classes, and consider a certificate program on innovation and entrepreneurship.
For resources, including mentors, check out the NNBA, a professional nursing association for nurses transitioning from traditional nursing to small business ownership and self-employment.
As a nurse, you are keenly aware of what needs to be fixed to improve patient care. As a nurse entrepreneur, you can provide solutions and advance patient care while being your own boss. Are you ready?
West Virginia University (WVU) is blending science with business in a graduate program for nurses to earn their master’s in nursing (MSN) and business (MBA) at the same time. The program is designed for nurses who are seeking leadership, public health, or entrepreneurial positions, especially in a financial setting.
Elizabeth Vitullo, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs in the WVU School of Business and Economics, tells The State Journal that, “Health care and business have always been linked…You never want to take the human out of the health care, but there are business decisions that impact patient care. This is essential for nurses who are looking at moving into administrative roles where they will manage people and make business decisions.”
Students in the program will complete 67 credit hours for the MBA portion concurrently with their graduate nursing courses. The hybrid program will be offered entirely online with the exception of a residency portion where students will come to campus for face-to-face learning and networking. Full-time students are expected to complete the program in eight semesters or three years, but the program also accommodates full-time professionals who want to complete the program part-time.
The MSN/MBA Program at WVU begins August 2017 with the first class of full-time students scheduled to graduate in 2020. To learn more about the program, visit here.