5 Reasons Why Nurses Often Make Excellent Entrepreneurs

imageGuest Blogger: Alicia-joy

Did you know that there is a growing segment of the nursing population who are self-employed? There are way more entrepreneurial opportunities nowadays than most people are aware of. This is not surprising to me. Nursing is an amazingly diverse profession. Also, I think that we already have some excellent entrepreneurial skills.

You may not realize it, but there are 5 reasons why nurses often make excellent entrepreneurs:

1. Taking risks

Going into business takes risk. Willingness to take calculated risks is inherent in building a business.

Nurses put ourselves on the line each and every day. I have worked a shift or two taking care of a patient who was not on any precautions (beyond standard), to return the next day and the same patient is now in “isolation”. Every patient we care for puts us in harm’s way (in terms of microbes, but also in terms of possible abuse). That’s just a risk we take. Of course we use precautions (similar to how entrepreneurs make smart decisions), but the risk is still there.

2. Prioritizing

Entrepreneurs must develop the ability to prioritize short term and long term tasks.

If you were not adept at prioritizing before nursing, you developed that skill when working on the floor. You either get super good at prioritizing what needs to be done, or you drown. Shift after shift. It can make the difference between feeling competent and confident, and feeling overwhelmed and incapable.

3. Staying calm and carrying on

Every entrepreneur must have leadership skills. Leadership includes exemplifying a calm disposition even amongst chaos and uncertainty.

Keeping our cool despite alarms, announcements, calls, lights, guests, family members, and demands left and right is essential to getting our work done. If we immediately reacted to every stimulus around us, nothing would be accomplished. Staying calm is also one of the skills that carries us through those harrowing moments (codes/system crashes/violent encounters, etc.)

4. Being resilient

Resilience is arguably THE most important skill for entrepreneurs. If an entrepreneur can’t bounce back from obstacles and set-backs, they might as well close up shop.

Had a bad shift? Most times you’ve got less than 12 hours to get over it. Sometimes even less. How about the patient (or family member) who is talented at insults and complaints? We still go to the next patient’s bedside, home, or room and strive to always leave that last encounter behind. We have to move on. In order to stay awake, alert, and not ticked off.

5. Putting in the work

Don’t believe anyone who says that owning a business is easy. It takes work. A lot of work.

Likewise, I give you permission to do harm to the person who says that nursing work is easy (okay, not physical harm). We care for people who need us. And there is no way to really give our patients the care they need, without working our butts off. It’s what we do.

Of course not every nurse exemplifies every one of these skills. Nevertheless, they are common nursing skills that crossover to business and can help a nurse entrepreneur to start and build a thriving business.

About the Author:

5 Reasons Why Nurses Often Make Excellent Entrepreneurs - f1dc4853b318e612d8a92936813cab53?s=80&d=404Alicia-joy is a writer, speaker, career and business coach. She loves being involved in multiple projects she is passionate about, including helping nurses to start and grow nursing businesses that support their desired lifestyle. She is the creator of the Nursing Business Mastermind; an online training, support, and accountability resource. Find out more here: http://www.nursingbusinessaccelerator.com/. Or connect with Alicia-joy on her website: http://www.mynursingbusiness.com/.

14 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Nurses Often Make Excellent Entrepreneurs”

  1. SharronWilliams

    Great article! Its good to know that more nurses are using their knowledge and skills to be more than just an unappreciated nurse.

    1. Thank you SharronWilliams. Glad you liked it. We all have skills, interests, and passions that can be leveraged in so many ways. It’s a shame that most nurses don’t realize this. I am on a mission of sorts to show as many nurses what’s possible. 🙂

  2. Thanks for this timely article.  I had always wondered how many nurses out there were self employed, or at least were using their nursing skills to be partly employed in their own business while also being employed by someone else.  I have always had the entrepreneurial spirit and have been trying to figure out how to fuse that with nursing.  No one, or at least I do not, want to be a floor nurse when I am approaching retirement!

    1. Hey  StraightCathNoChaser. I also used to wonder how many other nurse entrepreneurs were out there. Now I know that there are a good amount. 
      I agree about floor nursing and retirement. There usually comes a point where the body just cannot take the physical aspects anymore. That’s when you know….time to change. Love your screen name BTW (straight cath….) LOL.

  3. selfemployednurse

    I enjoyed your article and the point you made about “Putting in the work”. To be successfully and gainfully self employed many find themselves working double the hours, and twice as hard. While you have some flexibility in schedule to participate in life, you may find yourself up at odd hours of the night working to compensate for the flexibility. It is not for the faint of heart or someone that dislikes hard work. If I had to specify a general personality type that can be successfully self employed it would be Overachievers.

    1. Hi selfemployednurse, glad you liked the article. Putting in the work is non-negotiable. I think sometimes people think entrepreneurship is “sexy” (ie you are your boss, work when you want, etc). Yes, it has it’s pluses. But you HAVE to be willing to work it. Like you said, “you may find yourself up at odd hours of the night working”. It happens more often than not, especially in the beginning.
      Regardless, it’s still way WORTH it! (for me at least)

      1. Great article. Our healthcare system is in desperate need of people who have the qualities (passion, resilience, strong sense of self, flexibility, and vision) possessed by people with an entrepreneurial spirit. As I’ve had to step back into working for the system, I forgot how the egos and politics get in the way of allowing clinicians to care for the populations we serve. Sometimes our first ventures fail, but any successful person is willing to get back on the figurative horse and put what they’ve learned into the next chance at making a difference. As I prepare to work for myself again, I hope I can share some of the entrepreneurial values I learned like collaboration, humility, confidence, and the desire to not accept the status quo for our lives. Thank again for the inspiration, and sharing this great post. Take care, Dave

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