Nurses have demanding jobs with abundant career prospects. If they want to use their experience in carving a niche for themselves in other industry-driven jobs in corporate, research, education, hospital management, or as consultants they can do so. Interestingly, they can provide all these services not just in the capacity of an employee or a contract worker but also as a nurse entrepreneur.
If you are a nurse who has a few years of clinical experience, passionate about inching forward in a nursing career that is related to healthcare but would like to step aside from active clinical roles, then there are a plethora of options for you to start your entrepreneurial journey.
To become a nurse entrepreneur, you need to be a registered nurse who has completed a nursing program and cleared the NCLEX licensure exam. Many universities offer online and offline registered nurse courses that will prepare the student for practical and clinical knowledge of nursing.
Who is a nurse entrepreneur?
A nurse with business acumen or passion to create a business vertical based on nursing skills or a healthcare business is a nurse entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs create profitable businesses. Hence if the nursing element is added to this entrepreneurial venture then it is the start of a business that will create employment as they scale and revenue generation is from the healthcare-oriented business.
Here are some business ideas that can be started by a nurse:
- Home health agency
Home health agencies or HHA caregivers offer palliative and geriatric services to patients in the comfort of their homes. To work as a caregiver one need not be a full-fledged nurse. However, it does help the business in understanding the delivery of the treatment devised by the consulting doctor to the patient if the person who is in charge of an agency is a registered nurse.
- Wellness coach
Preventive medical practices are advocated by governments and healthcare facilities as a measure to combat the rising costs of hospital admission. It is a good idea to nip the disease in the bud and maintain a healthy lifestyle to ward off maximum complications. Becoming a wellness coach is a great business opportunity that can be started from a desk with a laptop and smartphone with a good internet connection.
As the world is accepting remote models of delivery, a wellness coach can deliver the session online using a virtual meeting room. If a client needs closer monitoring and you need to travel, you can arrange flexible timings to ensure that you can attend to other commitments.
- Legal nurse consultant
A legal nurse consultant can offer her clinical opinion for any legal matters. Legal counsels and courtrooms will consult legal nurses for their expert opinion about the circumstantial matter of a case that is pending a trial or requires the approval or opinion of a clinical nurse.
Legal nurse consultant is known for their reputation that is built over the years. So here both the core competencies of a nurse and the authenticity of the legal opinion are tested before the practice becomes large and a sustainable model
- Telehealth consultants
Telehealth aids communication between nurses and patients who are in a remote locations through video calls, phone calls, email, or messaging systems. As a telehealth consultant, a nurse can start the business by offering third-party services to hospitals that offer telehealth programs to their patients. One can start the business from home and there is no commute involved.
The telehealth services like patient appointments, reviews, and follow-ups are conducted over video calls. If a patient is on a remote patient monitoring program, their physiological data is reviewed consistently till they are completely fine.
How to become a nurse entrepreneur?
When a nurse wants to start a healthcare business for profit, it is akin to a patisserie chef working in a restaurant establishing their own baking business. Any small business starts small and usually is bootstrapped with its savings before external sources can trust the business capabilities of the founding members and start either investing or lending working loans for interest.
- Licensure requirements
Depending on the nature of the business, states differ on the minimum licensure requirements for nurse entrepreneurs. In common acceptance, a nurse practitioner with a master’s in nursing science with full practice authority is required to start his practice. Registered nurses with a BSN or ADN can start working as legal nurse consultants, hospice givers, or HHA founders and other specialized services.
- Certification course in business management
There are bridge and certification courses for entrepreneurs that will help any professional in establishing the base of their business. It will give a clear idea about how much equity and debt ratios are healthy for the business and how much can be diluted to bring in a cofounder or an investor when one decides to scale the business
- Business process automation
Every size of the business runs on business process automation. If you are starting, and don’t have a partner or an employee who understands the financial, marketing, or strategic business decision aspect of a business, then it is a good idea to start automating the processes in a phased manner.
- Critical thinking
Business needs critical thinking and strategic solutions that will be honed with time. However, since the business you are in will depend on core nursing skills, remember to train your staff as well to avoid any mishaps in your absence.
Nurse entrepreneurs are creating jobs in the local community while sharing the burden of specialized services for healthcare facilities. The risk involved in a business is always a deterrent for many, and few may feel that they can’t leave the comfort of a steady income. But if you can plan and save for at least twelve months of living expenses, then even with basic equipment like a laptop and internet, you start as a nurse entrepreneur. The struggle initially is real but once you taste repeated success, everything seems worth the effort.