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The Power of Being a Nurse Entrepreneur
Nurse entrepreneurship is on the rise, according to DiscoverNursing.com. Yet, Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN, wrote in Working Nurse, “Nurse entrepreneurs as a group are largely unknown.” Nursing Examiner defined a nurse entrepreneur as any registered nurse who is self-employed, meaning not employed by a hospital, clinic, or physician’s office. These professionals have a range of roles and enjoy a number of benefits different from those of traditional nurses. Discover how this motivated and growing group of nurses could change the way we think about nursing.
Prompt Business Development
Nurse entrepreneurs are channeling their passion for health care into a variety of businesses.
Seattle Sutton, RN, BSN of Marseilles, Illinois, may be one of America’s earliest nurse entrepreneurs. She started her business Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating in 1985 to help Americans lose weight and reduce rates of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Today, her company prepares thousands of nutritionally balanced meals every week for clients across the United States, according to the company website.
Pat Bemis, RN, CEN, is another nurse who has grown a business empire. Frustrated that her knowledge of emergency room nursing wasn’t effectively communicated to new practitioners, in 2004, she self-published her insights in her book “Emergency Nursing Bible.” Working Nurse stated that the book is now in its fourth edition.
This book’s publication was only the start of Bemis’ influence. She also has a successful website, CDs, seminars, and other books. Bemis is also the head of the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA), a professional organization committed to helping nurses transition into the world of entrepreneurship, according to the group’s website.
According to Nursing World, many nurses are at the bottom of a “chain of command,” underneath a head nurse, a department director of nursing, and the chief nursing officer. With many other nurses and other practitioners outranking them, nurses may not always get the opportunity to work independently. Nurse entrepreneurs, in contrast, can enjoy the power of exercising their independence.
According to the NNBA, nurse entrepreneurs can determine the type of work they want to do, how they’ll do this work, what they want their business to achieve, and how much they’ll charge for these services. Nurse entrepreneurs can choose to work alone or with co-workers, and they can hand select those people. They can also determine who their patients or clients may be.
The power to make these types of decisions independently can be liberating in some respects. However, this power can also be daunting for someone not used to such professional independence. Studying for an advanced degree such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice can help to ease the transition.
The independence nurse entrepreneurs enjoy can allow them to focus on topics about which they’re passionate. Susan Mojaverian is one nurse entrepreneur who started her own business to pursue her passion. She told EveryNurse.org that while she learned much from working in a hospital environment, the experience there was never her “favorite thing.” So she started ComeForCare, a home care business that allows her to care for the elderly patients she enjoyed working with the most.
“It is really a joy to create this business that is about helping seniors and keeping them safe at home,” she told EveryNurse.org. “It just feels right at this time in my life to be doing what I am doing.”
Nurse entrepreneurs can channel their interests into the areas they’re most enthusiastic about, such as nutrition, technology, or education. In fact, they must use their passions to drive their careers as nurse entrepreneurs, according to Infusionsoft Chief Executive Officer Clate Mask.
Writing for Entrepreneur magazine, Mask declared passion as one of the three key ingredients essential for business success. A passion for what they do can help nurse entrepreneurs continue moving forward, even when they face setbacks. This drive is crucial for any successful business attempt.
Enjoy Flexible Working Lives
Nurse entrepreneurs can have the power to enjoy more flexible working lives than many other nurses, according to Working Nurse’s Elizabeth Hanink. She spoke to LeaRae Keyes, RN, BSN, PHN, CDMS, CCM, an independent case manager and life care planner. Despite serving a four-state area, Keyes said, “I can take a day off in the middle of the week if I want to.” With many traditional nurses working 12-hour shifts, according to the NNBA, they rarely experience such freedom.
Schedules aren’t the only flexible element of life as a nurse entrepreneur, the NNBA stated, noting that nurse entrepreneurs can have flexible working environments. They may work from home or from a remote office anywhere in the world they choose. This flexibility can allow nurse entrepreneurs to tailor their working arrangement for the best performance. Nursing Examiner observed that nurse entrepreneurs, in addition to the roles described above, also work as legal nurse consultants, private duty nurses, nurse navigators, mother-baby nurses, and basic life support instructors.
Nurse entrepreneurs can also develop their businesses and expand their focus as time goes on. For example, while Keyes works as an independent case manager and life care planner, she also coaches other nurses interested in entrepreneurship and runs a successful networking website, according to Working Nurse.
If you aspire to become a nurse entrepreneur, you could consider earning your nurse practitioner degree. Coursework in this program can help prepare nurses for greater responsibility and help them expand their knowledge of relevant areas of nursing. Visit Maryville University to learn more about our 100% online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program.