Copyright (c) 2012 Nurse Entrepreneur Network
We are slowly emerging from the Great Recession. Millions have endured the fear and financial sting of losing their jobs. Many are searching for a career that is stable, pays well and provides opportunities for advancement. Becoming a nursing entrepreneur is an excellent career option that provides those advantages and much more.
Often, when we think of the nursing profession, we associate it with working for a hospital, school or other health related institutions. However, the world of nursing is rapidly changing to meet the demands of our aging population. In fact, the Journal of the American Medical Association predicts that the United States will have a shortage of Registered Nurses that exceed 800,000 by 2020. The nursing profession is growing rapidly, well compensated, highly respected, and worthy of consideration for career seekers. For some experienced nurses, becoming an entrepreneur in the healthcare industry can be a rewarding career choice.
Nursing is a diverse career option. Dozens of nursing specialties have been established to address very specific patient and healthcare management needs. In addition to traditional clinical nursing services, the field has expanded to include nursing services in education, development of new medical products, temporary nurses, companion care staffing, case management, and a wide range of professional consulting positions. All of these nursing services offer the opportunity for certified, experienced nurses to become a nursing entrepreneur.
An entrepreneur organizes and operates a business, while taking on the financial risk to do so. Nurses working in traditional clinical positions work for a healthcare business as their employee. The employee must adhere to the rules and mandates of that business. Conversely, the entrepreneurial nurse is a person who has the desire and skills to create a business of their own and operate it under their own terms. Of course, the entrepreneur also assumes the legal and financial risk associated with running an enterprise.
Striking out on their own to start an independent business is a daunting prospect for most nurses. Leaving the relatively stable and secure position as an employee of a business, requires the entrepreneurial nurse to gather as much information as possible to determine how to make the transition. The following steps provide a basic guideline on the how to get a start-up going:
1. Do a thorough assessment of your current employment situation to determine if you have the skills, tenacity and personal commitment to strike out on your own. Simply assuming you want to be an entrepreneur is not acceptable. You have to understand and evaluate the risks and weigh your ability to assume those risks.
2. Determine the market potential for your services. Are the services you plan to offer, needed in sufficient number, to allow you to sustain your business?
3. Obtain the education you need to start and operate your business. While experienced RN’s have the skills to do their work as a nurse, most have not educated themselves on how to set up and run a business. Obtaining business skills are necessary to be successful.
4. Create a comprehensive business plan, complete with funding requirements. There are many on-line entrepreneurial nursing resources to help you to complete a winning plan.
Owning an independent nursing practice can give you the freedom and responsibility to be your own boss.
Are you up to the challenge?