Nurses may work for non-profits like charities or for-profit businesses like doctor’s offices. However, few nurses know that it is possible to turn nursing into a business. This can turn a nurse into a nurse entrepreneur, the owner of their own, growing business. A career shift like this could give you full control over your schedule and duties. It may allow you to provide services to an under-served community. It gives you the opportunity to express your creativity and get more out of your hard work if you choose the right path. Let’s look at how to turn nursing into a business.
Learn about the Available Options
Don’t start a business without having a business model. There are a variety of businesses nurses are ideally suited to run. One is providing teaching services. You could teach others how to render first aid or operate an automated external defibrillator. You might prepare them for childbirth or educate them on how to eat healthily.
Many nurses graduate from being the head of the ward to heading a nursing agency. They’re doing the same work managing nurses, but now they’re working for themselves and building their own business. Running a nursing agency is perfect for those with a ton of contacts, especially other nurses. This type of business may take a percentage of the nurse’s pay or charge a finder’s fee for every nurse placed. A great thing about this type of business is that it is very scalable. You could start your referral business out of your home, build up your network and reputation, and finally become a full-time nurse entrepreneur.
Becoming a nurse entrepreneur does not mean you have to give up working with patients. You could work as a hospice nurse, holistic nurse or birth doula, and work on your nursing business part-time. In these cases, you’d be paid a higher hourly rate and earn a decent living providing the type of care your patients want to receive.
Alternatively, you could set up and run the care facility yourself. This will require more training in human resources, finance, and the applicable rules and regulations. Note that if this type of business appeals to you, you could become a daycare manager as well as run an adult daycare or residential facility.
Nurses can become consultants in a surprising number of areas. You could become a successful writer, answering medical questions or creating medical content for publishers. You could write a book about your experiences or educational material you think the next generation of nurses needs to know. This is a job you can start on the side and shift to once you have a decent workload. Another possibility is starting a medical blog or niche site, earning money from both ad revenue and affiliate links.
You could work as a legal nurse consultant if you have at least a BSN. In this role, you would review medical records of patients for insurance companies or law firms, determining the scope of someone’s injuries, the timeline of their injury or illness, and the appropriate billing for the services they’ve received. This role is perfect for nurses who have tons of experience but don’t want to walk the wards anymore. You will need basic knowledge of how the court system works, and you’ll have to network with those who may hire you in order to find work. It may be to your benefit to join relevant professional associations.
Master the Necessary Skills
A nurse entrepreneur must have a degree in nursing. An associate’s degree is a minimum. You’ll have more gravitas in the workplace if you’ve completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and passed the NCLEX-RN exam.
With a bachelor in nursing, you’ll be able to start to work as a professional nurse almost anywhere and start getting the experience needed to start a business. You could follow an RN to BSN nursing program and complete the necessary certification to be able to work anywhere at a decent pay rate while learning important skills you’ll carry with you later on.
If you want to work as a nurse educator or provide home healthcare services, certifications like the Basic Life Support Certification or BLS are a point in your favor. Starting with home healthcare nursing could give you some insight into what patients need and how services could be improved and start your own service later on. Nurse educators can become private educators or provide continuing education courses.
In some roles, you’d want to shadow an established figure in the field to learn the ins and outs of the job. For example, a nurse who wants to offer doula services should spend time with an experienced doula. Learn what the job entails and what else you may want to learn before you commit yourself to this path. Conversely, if you simply want to teach natural childbirth classes, you probably already know everything you need to know and are already completely qualified. This is a perfect choice for women who want to support other mothers during these critical moments but don’t want to spend all day in the NICU.
The other half of the nurse entrepreneur skillset is the necessary set of business skills. As a nurse, you already have the communication skills entrepreneurship requires. However, you’ll need to get a good grasp of marketing and accounting principles before you try to run a business or take the personal financial risk that comes with starting one. If you expect to hire staff, you’ll want to learn how to manage them. Don’t forget about taxes, payroll and the rules and regulations your business will need to comply with.
At this point, you’ll have selected the type of business you want to run. You should have earned the necessary certifications to work in this area and picked up the required business skills. This is when you want to start small.
We’ve already mentioned how several of the businesses perfect for nurse entrepreneurs can be started on the side. You could begin writing individual articles or posting blog posts to generate a revenue stream and building your reputation. Start providing care for patients in their homes on your day off. You could begin teaching classes part-time on the side. You’ll begin the word-of-mouth marketing that leads to more referrals, and you’ll establish yourself in that space.
Another thing you could do is partner up with other nurses in your field. Try to find those who seem the most motivated by your business idea and would like to switch roles. Try to recruit those you feel have the skills you’re looking for; don’t go into business with another nurse just because you get along.
Working with a partner will help alleviate the workload but might also bring a set of expertise that you didn’t have but desperately needed. For instance, if you’re only a registered nurse, partnering up with an FNP could help you set up a family practice, for instance. The more expertise you have, the wider the net you can cast when fishing for business ideas.
Grow Your Business
The best businesses for nurse entrepreneurs are very scalable. This means you can eventually hire people to take on the work so that twice as many clients don’t mean twice as much work for you personally, and it can grow to be as large as you want it to be. Nursing businesses tend to grow from word of mouth referrals, whether it is satisfied patients referring to friends and family, website visitors sharing links or other nurses sending their friends to you to find them new jobs. But you’ll also have to do your own work and use all the advertising tools at your disposal.
A side benefit of starting small is that if you find you don’t like the work, you still have your day job to pay the bills. You can switch to a different business model or a different business altogether. It may mean that you’ve quit providing nutritional classes and focus on selling nutritional supplements. Or you’ve decided you don’t want to sit at home answering medical questions and choose to work with a legal team instead. You might find that you have to pick up new skills like acupuncture or reflexology to draw enough clients to earn a full salary.
Just remember to choose new skills, course offerings, and products that complement each other and your lifestyle. For example, if your goal is to work from home so you can spend more time with the kids, you don’t want to start offering services that require you to visit clients.
Most nurses are already following their passion for helping people, but they may need to strike off on their own to do it the way they want to do it. Others want to follow their passion and work in a new area while utilizing their deep well of knowledge. In either case, follow this roadmap if you want to start your journey as a nurse entrepreneur the right way.
- YouTube TV hiked price to $65: Sling TV and Hulu offer better value
- 10 NBA Twitter accounts to follow from inside the bubble
- Hands-on with The Shivers, the new tabletop puzzle game with a classic LucasArts vibe
- Peacock is free. That might make it the streaming wars’ dark horse threat
- 2021 Ford Bronco First Edition is already sold out
- UK follows US in banning Huawei from 5G network
- Here’s how Uber and Lyft battled Seattle over minimum wage for drivers
- MythBusters host Grant Imahara dies at age 49
- Amazon introduces Dash Cart, essentially an Amazon Go store on wheels