Steps to Become a Nurse Entrepreneur and Kick-Start Your Business

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Written by Ann Real, BSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
A nurse entrepreneur sits at a desk on a business call.

Ever dream of being your own boss? Becoming a nurse entrepreneur can help you earn more money and customize your work schedule to suit your lifestyle. But as a nurse, how do you break into this field? Is there even room for nurses in the entrepreneurial world?

Absolutely! Success stories like the Snugli baby carrier and Billi Bonnet, created by nurse inventors with entrepreneurial mindsets, prove it’s possible. This article will walk you through becoming an entrepreneur as a nurse, from idea generation to growth, and offer extra resources to help you start your business.

How to Be a Nurse Entrepreneur: 5 Steps

You’ve heard it before — every business starts with an idea, and the more innovative and pioneering your idea, the greater your chances of success. That’s’ why instead of just sharing nurse entrepreneur ideas with you (which we’ll also do later in this article), we’ll guide you to find an idea of your own.

1. Find a Problem

At its core, a business is about making life easier for someone. It tackles a problem. The entrepreneur nurse identifies gaps in healthcare delivery and creates solutions to address them. So, when you’re hunting for a business idea, the first thing you can do is to take a thorough look at your workplace or the medical field overall. Where are the inefficiencies? What are the unmet needs? Think about the toughest part of your job — how can it be simplified? That’s where many nurse entrepreneurs get their start.

Exercise

Make a list of 50 problems in your workplace (or beyond) and brainstorm solutions. Can you turn any of these into a business idea? Why so many, you might wonder? This exercise fires up your creativity by pushing you to think outside the box, inspiring fresh ideas you never imagined.

2. Research the Market

This step is crucial. To build a thriving business, you need to know your target market inside and out. You can’t attract clients if you’re unsure of who they are.

Imagine your customer sitting in their apartment in the evening. What are their worries? What do they need? How can you help them? How can you solve their problem? Create a clear picture of who your client is. This understanding is key for your sales and marketing efforts, so take your time with this step.

Exercise

For business-to-customer (B2C) ideas, imagine five potential customers and create fictional profiles for them. Picture who they are, what they need, and where you can find them. Then, think about how your idea can help them.

For business-to-business (B2B) business ideas, think about five fictional companies and their needs. Consider how your idea can benefit them and where their CEOs might get information.

3. Research the Competition

Is there a similar product or service on the market? Research it. Competition is part of the game — the trick is not to fear it but to learn from it. By studying your competitors, you can kick-start your business with tried-and-true strategies and add your own twist.

Exercise

Make a list of your competitors and answer the following questions:

  • What are their strengths?
  • How can you differentiate yourself?
  • What’s your competitive advantage?
  • How will you outshine existing offerings?

4. Create a Business Plan

Think of your business plan as your roadmap. It’s hard to reach your destination without knowing the steps. Although there are many ways to create one, a typical business plan may include the following sections:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Service or product line
  • Marketing and sales
  • Funding request
  • Financial projections

The clearer and more detailed a business plan is, the smoother your journey will likely be. Keep it fresh by updating it regularly and expect to make adjustments along the way.

5. Befriend Numbers

As a nurse entrepreneur, financial documents are your new best friends (i.e, balance sheets and cash flow/income statements). These are vital signs of your business — they show you how your business is doing. Keep an eye on them regularly to catch any issues fast and keep your business thriving.

Reading a term like “balance sheet” might seem frightening, but it’s simpler than it sounds. These videos can help guide you through the process:

7 Simple Nurse Entrepreneur Ideas

While you’re brainstorming a business idea, why not sharpen your entrepreneurial skills with simple, accessible projects that you can start right away? Here are some to get you started.

  1. Create a product for nurses. Develop a niche product specifically designed for nurses, such as a nurse brain sheet for your specialty. Or, you could create gifts for nurses, with stress-relief tools, healthy snacks, and self-care products. You could sell it on Amazon, Etsy, or other platforms.
  1. Start a wellness coaching business. Become a certified nurse health coach and provide personalized health advice and guidance through virtual consultations for individuals or small groups.
  1. Start tutoring new nurses. Use your nursing experience to tutor new nurses or nursing students preparing for exams. Offer flexible tutoring sessions and create study resources like guides and practice quizzes to help them succeed.
  1. Start a nurse networking group. Establish a local or online networking group for nurses to connect, share resources, and support each other professionally and personally, organizing regular meet-ups or virtual events.
  1. Launch a meal-planning service. Create customized meal plans tailored to patients’ specific dietary needs (i.e., for patients with diabetes or hypertension), helping them to adhere to healthy eating habits.
  1. Create a nursing blog or YouTube channel. Share your expertise, experiences, and tips on nursing-related topics through blog posts or videos, attracting an audience and potentially earning revenue through ads or sponsorships.
  1. Plan events for select demographics. Specialize in organizing events tailored to the unique needs of children with disabilities or special needs, providing inclusive and enjoyable experiences for them and their families. You can also plan events for elderly people or newly graduated nurses.

3 Resources to Kick-start Your Business

1. Entrepreneur Courses

Select courses provide valuable knowledge and skills necessary for starting and running a successful nurse business. They cover various aspects of entrepreneurship, such as business planning, marketing strategies, financial management, and legal considerations. Consider the following options:

2. Nurse Entrepreneur Organizations

Nursing groups offer a supportive community and networking opportunities for nurse entrepreneurs. They provide a platform for sharing experiences, exchanging ideas, and seeking advice from those who understand the unique challenges and opportunities in the healthcare business landscape. Check out some of these organizations:

3. Business Events

Attending business events, such as nursing conferences, workshops, and networking events, can provide nurse entrepreneurs with valuable opportunities to learn, connect, and grow their businesses. Here are some medical entrepreneur conferences that you might consider attending:

Looking for a Great Nursing Job?

While pursuing your goal of becoming a nurse entrepreneur, it’s smart to find a nursing job that supports you financially as you build your empire. IntelyCare can help you find a nursing job that suits your schedule and lifestyle.