This is a time of rapid change in health care delivery. Nurses can expect increasing opportunities from the Affordable Care Act. For example, primary care services must be expanded to serve newly insured populations. The growing number of aging Baby Boomers is another opportunity for nurses.
The 2010 IOM report, The Future of Nursing, promotes entrepreneurship as an important nursing role. Nurses can apply their skills to run services such as a case management business for the elderly or a nonprofit program promoting children’s health.
Many nurses think about starting a business or nonprofit agency. How does a nurse move from working as an employee to becoming their own boss? Here are a few helpful resources for nurse entrepreneurs.
One resource for nurses wanting to start their own business is the Nurse Entrepreneur Network (NEN). Nurses can subscribe to the free NEN newsletter and download free resources. For example, the article "Business Opportunities for Nurses"offers many business ideas for nurses to explore, including camp nursing, medical writing and wound care services. A paid membership is available from NEN that provides more support and assistance.
Another resource is the National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC). The focus of the NNCC is health clinics started and managed by nurse practitioners. The NNCC offers a free newsletter and resources as well as a paid membership. One of the free resources, the Managed Care Contracting Toolkit, provides detailed state-by-state advice on state regulation and insurance plans for advance practice nurses.
My book, Economics and Financial Management for Nurses and Nurse Leaders, Second Edition, is another resource for nurses who want to learn business skills. This book helps nurses understand the business side of health care. Nurses will learn:
- How to write a successful business plan.
- How to prepare a successful health program grant proposal.
- The basics of budgeting and budget preparation.
- Ways to assess financial health by tracking costs, revenue and cash flow.
- Important issues in practice management for nurse-run clinics.
The information in Economics and Financial Management for Nurses and Nurse Leaders, Second Edition is helpful to students, licensed and advanced practice nurses. The concepts are also useful to intrapreneurs – nurses who want to improve the financial health of their employing institution. Nurses can save costs and improve profits whether they work at the bedside or start their own business. The opportunity and resources are available!