Next Stop: Nurse Entrepreneurship

Judy Campbell MSN, RN, CCM
Nurse & Writer;

Entrepreneurs strive to work efficiently, are attentive to details, and are focused. Sounds exactly what nurses are like. Nurse entrepreneurs offer a unique perspective on the nursing role and challenge traditional views of the nursing profession. This significant shift is important as future health challenges call for new ways of thinking, and nurses are yearning for freedom.

When I thought about going into nursing, I pictured myself at the bedside, administering medication, and offering a warmed blanket to a patient recovering from surgery. Or, I would picture myself providing a patient’s family members a listening ear as they processed their emotions. The bulk of our clinical rotations ensured that we could maintain a sterile field while doing wound dressing changes, inserting an IV, and charting. Lots of charting. After graduating from nursing school, we competed for hospital and clinic jobs. I took advantage of how versatile nursing is and worked in various care settings. Over a decade later, during graduate school, I rekindled my love for writing. So, I started researching whether I could combine my passion with my profession.

According to the National Nurses Business Association, as of 2019, 41.1 million Americans had ventured into entrepreneurship. Due to the pandemic, there have been dramatic changes in various healthcare settings. The Mental Health and Wellness Survey 3 was conducted in September 2021, which concludes that nurses are still experiencing the negative impacts of the pandemic on their mental health and well-being. In prioritizing their overall health, nurses are branching out to develop a strategy for establishing their own successful business.

The internet is saturated with information about nurse entrepreneurs. Some nurses are looking for added income, while others are looking for a way to transition away from bedside nursing. The network of empowering and supportive nurses in developing business skills and helping healthcare evolve is phenomenal. What can nurses do that can transcend into a profitable business?

Business ideas for nurse entrepreneurs

Health Coaching

One-on-one health coaching has emerged to safeguard positive patient outcomes. The International Nurse Coach Association trains nurse coaches to lead the lifestyle change movement by assisting individuals, groups & communities in achieving their greatest human potential.” Health coaching is the perfect career for the nurse with excellent people skills and a passion for helping patients live longer and happier lives.

In-Home Care

Nurses have started their own agencies that offer personalized care to vulnerable populations. Meeting patients in the comfort of their homes, in-home care nurses offer invaluable support and professional healthcare services when and where they are most needed.

Patient Advocacy

Patient advocacy is the ideal career for the healthcare professional with a strong sense of justice and a fighter instinct to advocate for their patient’s best interests. Accompanying patients to their meetings and important medical appointments, patient advocates work one-on-one and function as intermediaries between patients, healthcare providers, and a patient’s loved ones.

Legal Nurse Consulting

Legal nurse consulting has appeared to provide attorneys with legal consultation and professional healthcare advice on standards of care. Legal nurse consultants can also be expert witnesses, conduct medical record evaluations, and help with statement preparation.

Freelance Communications

Nurse entrepreneurs can share their health care expertise through various communications channels, such as public speaking, podcasts, online courses, books, or photography.

What skills do you need to be a nurse entrepreneur?

The following are skills that define what qualities nurse entrepreneurs have and what sets them apart:

  • Flexibility: Nurse entrepreneurs need the ability to adjust to ever-changing circumstances. The ongoing changes in patients’ conditions or fluctuating market conditions require flexibility.
  • Leadership. Nurse entrepreneurs should have the knowledge and management skills to inspire those who work with them.
  • Persistence. As they may encounter resistant clients or patients, nurse entrepreneurs must be willing to persevere.
  • Resilience. Nurse entrepreneurs need to be prepared to accept failures as opportunities to learn and adjust.
  • Time management. Nurse entrepreneurs need to expect and manage business-related tasks and responsibilities.

Some credentials will help the business of choice gain traction. Whether this article has sparked your curiosity, or you have considered entrepreneurship in the past, you have information and support at your fingertips.

Gathering information is the first step:

  1. Consider business training – business licensing, marketing, payroll
  2. Join professional nursing organizations to grow your network and seek a place to initiate marketing for your services. Often, the specific organization will depend on the country in which you practice (e.g. American Nurses Association; International Organization of African Nurses; Royal College of Nursing)
  3. Find a mentor in the field you are interested in and utilize all available resources



American Nurses Assocation. (n.d.). Retrieved from

ANA Enterprise. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Berxi. (n.d.). Retrieved from

International Nurse Coach Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Jakobsen, L., Qvistgaard, L. W., Trettin, B., & Rothmann, M. J. (2021). Entrepreneurship and nurse entrepreneurs lead the way to the development of nurses’ role and professional identity in clinical practice: A. qualitative study, 77(10), 4142-4155. doi:

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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