While the path to entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, there are plenty of opportunities for nurses with an interest in taking this route. There are many reasons nurses today are deciding to become entrepreneurs: taking a break from a stressful environment, wanting to retire but stay busy, or making a side income. From working as a consultant for medical malpractice law firms to freelancing your services to clinics and private practices, you can find success as a self-employed nurse. If you’re not sure that this is the path for you, consider the benefits of striking out as a nursing entrepreneur.
Be the Boss of Your Own Schedule
A nurse entrepreneur doesn’t have to work the typical eight or 12-hour shifts that traditional nurses work. In fact, you can choose how much or how little you work each week. Depending on the type of opportunities you seek as a freelancing nurse, you can even choose the times of day that you will work. You’ll have greater freedom in setting up your work schedule, and you may only be limited by the amount of income you need to earn. This can help you keep time free for important events and appointments. If your children are engaged in sports, you can set up your schedule to ensure you can make it to all of their games. The schedule you choose is up to you.
Wider Opportunities for Career Development
You’ll have a greater chance for exploring opportunities that interest you professionally and personally. Perhaps clinical work has always interested you but you haven’t found any job openings in that area of nursing. Freelancing offers you the opportunity to work in a clinical setting as a freelance nurse. If you prefer providing hospice care, you can work exclusively in that area. You can choose an area of interest, or you can choose jobs based on the level of patient interaction you desire. The opportunities you choose will help you live a more rewarding life, leaving you feeling fulfilled on a personal level.
Nurses’ Expertise and Ideas are Valued in the Business Arena
There are financial incentives to working as an entrepreneur in the nursing field, but there are more practical advantages as well. Many nurses feel stifled in their day-to-day careers. Policies or work environments often prohibit nurses from expressing themselves or sharing their ideas. It’s also discouraged for nurses to question doctors in many situations. However, freelancing as a nurse can open you up to opportunities in which your experience and insight will be sought. You can work as an expert witness, consultant, or in other positions in which your clients will value your thoughts. There are many entrepreneurial opportunities in which clients will pay your fee specifically to take advantage of your experience and ideas.
Successful Nurse-Entrepreneurs Can Make Serious Bank
Entrepreneurship offers you the chance to use and hone your business skills. Rather than earning a predetermined salary, you’ll have the ability to set your own rates of pay. You may decide to establish one set hourly rate, or you might charge a different rate for a variety of nursing services. This will be similar to running any type of business in terms of analyzing competitors in your field and marketing your services to those needing a nursing freelancer. The degree of success you achieve will depend on how well you can hone your business acumen. As long as you continue to learn and grow as an entrepreneur, you will achieve greater success over time.
Reduce Your Chances of Becoming a Burnout Statistic
While staying in one position or working at one hospital throughout your career can provide stability, it also increases the likelihood of experiencing career burnout. This is a condition that produces feelings of fatigue, depression, and apathy. When you freelance as a nurse, you’ll significantly decrease the risks of burnout by exposing yourself to a variety of new situations throughout your career. This can involve pursuing different areas of nursing to spice up your work-related experiences, or you might become a traveling nurse to experience different cultures from around the world. You can experience a new opportunity as frequently as you like, or choose a specific area of work that you find especially interesting.
The advantage of seeking out entrepreneur opportunities as a nurse is that you can still keep your full-time job. Look for opportunities that you can pursue part-time or on your days off. As you gain a better understanding of what you can do as a freelancer or another type of entrepreneur, you will eventually reach a point at which you’ll feel comfortable quitting your full-time job.
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?
With constant upheaval and changes in the health care system, nurses need to diversify their knowledge, including learning how to incorporate sound business decisions into their practice. Many nurses today are choosing the entrepreneurial path to coincide with their nursing career in order to protect the longevity and financial future of their careers. The National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) is helping nurses unite in their own businesses with the Nurse Entrepreneurship and Career Alternatives Conference running October 14-16 in Las Vegas, NV.
NNBA is a professional nursing association for nurses transitioning from traditional nursing to small business ownership and self-employment. Membership provides nurses with the knowledge and tools to meet their entrepreneurial goals and connect with members of an extensive network of colleagues and resources to help navigate their business success.
The theme for this year’s NNBA conference is “Advancing Nurses Through Entrepreneurship.” All practicing nurses, aspiring nurse entrepreneurs, and current nurse entrepreneurs who wish to grow their business can attend the educational and professional development event. Attendees will benefit from nationally-acclaimed speakers and business owners, learn tools and take-a-ways to start their business, and receive information on how to make their current business more successful.
Conference highlights will include more than 19 sessions on nurse’s roles in the new health care landscape; transitioning to being a nurse entrepreneur; how to start or grow a business; effective business management; marketing and diversifying a business; social media tips from nurse writers and bloggers; and more. Attendees can also expect to hear from keynote speaker Dr. Louise Jakubik and attend optional pre-conference workshops about elder care business, blogging, podcasting, and other career and business insights essential to entrepreneurship.