The landscape of the healthcare industry is changing. Things are far different today than they were even a decade ago. Technology has become a major factor in altering the way healthcare information is tracked and care is given. Physicians assistants and nurse practitioners have taken some of the load off of doctors. And nurses are starting healthcare businesses.
That’s right. Nurses are no longer confined to the hospital and hospice care setting. Rather, many professionals are taking their skills on the road and starting much-needed healthcare businesses. These businesses fit within their qualifications but are widely creative and many provide much-needed care services to communities that would otherwise go without.
Indeed, nurse entrepreneurs as they are known have a lot to bring to the table. They are filling in gaps that have been empty for so long that many of us forgot they existed. These professionals are becoming staples in our communities.
Defining exactly what a nurse entrepreneur is can be a bit tricky because they can take on so many different roles. Broadly, this is a nurse that is using his or her medical skills to start a healthcare-focused business. These businesses can range from consulting and contracting up to providing specialized care for patients.
An example of one of many nurse entrepreneur businesses is for nurses with experience in dietetics or physical therapy. They can open a business that focuses on providing lifestyle and dietary help to patients. As a fitness nurse, work would focus on helping patients make informed decisions surrounding their fitness and diet. This could include coming up with customized meal plans and exercise routines that help patients address weight concerns or recover from a specific illness or injury.
Another option might be providing telemedicine services as a consultant. Nurses that start businesses like this may contract with hospitals to provide initial health screenings to telehealth patients. These professionals can answer questions and make themselves available when most doctor’s offices aren’t open. There is clear evidence that telehealth consulting can save lives because it gives patients an alternative way to consult with a professional than going to an emergency room or ignoring the problem.
Becoming a Nurse Entrepreneur
Becoming a nurse entrepreneur isn’t necessarily something that one could do right out of medical school. Rather, most people who pursue this track will gain a lot of experience in a hospital setting first. Many will specialize their nursing practice in something or gain additional training that allows them to become a nurse practitioner.
However, the career path can be highly rewarding for those looking for something outside of the hospital. Especially those that are looking to utilize their medical skills with greater autonomy and one-on-one patient focus. Many of the barriers that have long stood in the way are beginning to be removed as the desperate need for healthcare professionals with advanced skills increases.
Changes in the healthcare industry have long been slow to be realized. Nurse entrepreneurship is an example of incremental innovations that are slowly making a big difference in the system. Nurse entrepreneurs are working in our communities opening businesses that address healthcare gaps that often go overlooked such as legal nurse consulting, hospice care, fitness leaders, birthing instructors, and so on.
There are an incredible number of different opportunities for nurse entrepreneurs to make a huge difference in the overall health of their communities. It is an exciting development that brings a lot to the table. Though gaining the necessary skills to become a nurse entrepreneur and pursue a health-related business can take time, it is absolutely worth the effort.