Nurses may love what they do, but the nature of their job often leaves them at risk of burnout. For many, the long hours and the inability to take a day off when needed can often feel rigorous. As a nurse entrepreneur, however, you can enjoy the freedom you desire without giving up what you love.
You integrate your clinical knowledge with your business sense to start a company or initiative that provides healthcare services. You can keep working in the field you love, just from home, and maybe not at night or on weekends. Going on your own may also allow you to travel or move to a new location. This role is all about flexibility.
Your entrepreneurial spirit will guide you toward the project you are most passionate about, and we’re happy to get your imagination going by showing you how others have put their nursing skills to work in their own business projects. Read on to learn what it takes to become a nurse entrepreneur.
Who is a nurse entrepreneur?
Nurse entrepreneurs or nurse practitioner entrepreneurs work to improve services in the healthcare industry. They may provide tech-minded services, including data solutions, or use their clinical skills to improve how healthcare settings approach care plans.
If you’re a nurse, you know how your workplace runs, inside and out. This invaluable insight is key to becoming an entrepreneur. Think of it this way—becoming a nurse entrepreneur is observing an aspect of your work that could function more smoothly and then selling that solution.
Becoming a nurse entrepreneur
To become a nurse entrepreneur, you’ll have to attend a nursing school and practice in the field. Even if you don’t intend to end up in a clinical role, you’ll need this experience. Think of it as research for your future business.
Attend a nursing program
All registered nurses (RNs) must hold a nursing degree from an accredited program in the field. So, you can earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
Nurses must also clear the National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Once you do that, you can apply for state licensure.
Gain clinical experience
This is an essential part of your career if you intend to become a nurse entrepreneur. By getting hands-on experience performing patient care and learning the intricacies of healthcare institutions, you can start to identify improvement areas and draft your creative solutions.
Learn business skills
Whether you take a DIY course by reading up on business skills at home or go all out and pursue another college degree, you’ll want to hone specific abilities and understand how to run a company or freelance operation. Learn the basics of accounting, marketing, cash flow and human resources (if you plan to hire staff). Just remember, there’s a business person in all of us!
Our top 10 nurse entrepreneur ideas
As you do your clinical work, you’ll likely find your entrepreneurial calling. If you’re looking for what’s out there, here are some nurse entrepreneur business ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Even if you’ve studied further, these can easily count as nurse practitioner entrepreneur ideas. Pretty much any healthcare professional who wants to transition to becoming a business owner can use them.
- Healthcare consultant
- Pharma or medical devices sales representative
- Health writer/blogger
- Healthcare legal consultant
- Health or wellness coach
- Healthcare IT specialist
- Billing coordinator
- Curriculum consultant
- Freelance caregiver
Where do nurse entrepreneurs work?
The answer to this question largely depends on what services you intend to provide. If you’re a doula or a caregiver, you’ll likely work at your client’s home. If you’re a writer or legal consultant, you might work from the comfort of your couch. And, if you’re a medical product sales rep, billing coordinator or consultant for a healthcare institution, you may find yourself throwing on your scrubs again and heading toward the hospital or an office.
What’s the job outlook for nurse entrepreneurs?
For a nurse entrepreneur’s salary, the sky’s the limit. As an RN in a clinical role, you could expect a salary of around $75,000 annually in the U.S. As you transition into a business role, your potential earnings will vary based on the cost of the services you provide or the commissions you earn. Here are approximate incomes (per U.S. standards) for the careers mentioned above:
- Healthcare consultant: $80,000
- Pharma or medical devices sales representative: $150,000
- Health writer/blogger: $60,000
- Healthcare legal consultant: $70,000
- Health or wellness coach: $45,000
- Doula: $20,000 (part-time)
- Healthcare IT specialist: $70,000
- Billing coordinator: $45,000
- Curriculum consultant: $67,000
- Freelance caregiver: $20,000
Remember that when you become an entrepreneur, you often have the freedom to set your rates. If you build an entire company around your idea, you may be able to work in an executive role and earn even more.
We have a look for wherever your entrepreneurial career path takes you. Whether you continue to have a practice, go to a hospital every day, need scrubs, or plan to work from home in your loungewear, we’ve got you covered!