10 Business Ideas for Nurses

Written on February 23, 2020
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For those with an entrepreneurial mindset, there’s an endless list of potential business opportunities and ways to build a side hustle. One of the keys to starting your own business and turning it into a successful enterprise is to play to your strengths.

For those with a nursing degree, there are a number of business opportunities that you’ll have that aren’t available to others. While starting your own business can be stressful, it can also be incredibly rewarding.

A study by RN Network found that 50% of nurses consider leaving their jobs due to burnout, overwork, and high stress levels. Opening your own business and relying on your skills and certifications as a nurse can be a new, refreshing opportunity. Keep reading for some top business ideas for nurses.

How to Choose a Business Idea for Nurses

Before you pick a business idea, there are a few good rules to follow to evaluate the right one for you. Just because a health care business idea will be lucrative doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right choice for you. As an entrepreneur, you need to be passionate about the work you’re doing if you’re going to make the business a success.

1. Assess Your Skills

One of the best ways to start narrowing down the list of potential business ideas for nurses is to take a critical look at your skills. During this assessment of your skills, you need to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re not sure that you can honestly evaluate your own weaknesses, ask for help from a trusted friend or advisor.

Ask yourself these questions to figure out your skills and passions:

  • What aspects do I like most about my current job or the health care system?
  • What aspects of my current job do I enjoy the least?
  • Is there a specific population of patients that I prefer to work with?
  • Do I enjoy sales?
  • Would I prefer a job that deals less with people and more with the background and administrative tasks of the health care industry?
  • Am I good at noticing problems and finding solutions?
  • What weaknesses slow me down at my current job?
  • What types of tasks am I best at and do I enjoy?

These questions are a good way to get a better understanding of what types of work you enjoy and what you’re especially good at. Use this information to inform what type of business you choose to start.

2. Align Your Schedule

There are dozens of business ideas for nurses that you can choose from. But, if you’re going to start your business as a side hustle before turning it into full-time work, you’ll have to take your current schedule into consideration.

Starting your business as a side hustle and building it into a full-time endeavor is a good way to determine whether there’s enough demand for your business, as well as to work through any workflow or operational issues before you completely dive in. This way, you maintain the income from your current job while building your new business. 

If this is something you’re interested in, make sure you take your current work schedule into account when deciding what type of side hustle you want to start. And if you’d rather skip the side hustle phase and devote all your time to your new business, make sure you do your research beforehand so you have an idea of the amount of demand you can expect, who your market is, how much startup capital you’ll need, and more. Writing a business plan is a good way to answer these questions and more.

3. Feed Your Passion

While there are many reasons to start your own business, an important one to focus on is doing something that you’re truly passionate about. Operating your own business can certainly increase your income, but that shouldn’t be the sole reason you go into business for yourself. Focus on picking a business that will allow you to do more of the things you love and less of the things you don’t.

Choosing a business idea for nurses that meshes with your passion will make the long hours that you’ll inevitably work (at least when you’re first getting things off the ground) just a little bit easier.

Top 10 Business Ideas for Nurses

There are a number of different business ideas for nurses out there. With all of the above considerations in mind, decide which one aligns best with your skills, interests, and schedule. 

1. Legal Nurse Consultant

For nurses who are detail-oriented and love to dive into the details of a patient file, becoming a legal nurse consultant, or LNC, can be a great business idea.

An LNC is a consultant that offers expert advice for legal cases. An attorney might consult with a legal nurse consultant to better understand the facts of their case or an LNC might be asked to analyze testimony in a legal case to look for errors. 

There are a number of different ways in which legal nurse consultants can work within the legal system. One of the benefits of this position is that as a legal nurse consultant and business owner, you choose which cases you work on. This gives you a lot of control over your schedule and how you spend your time.

2. Nurse Health Coach

Many nurses work in a clinical setting where they’re part of a team that’s treating and diagnosing patient symptoms. For some, this can feel limiting to only have so much say in how a patient is treated.

A nurse health coach is someone who helps people to assess their health goals and creates a plan to achieve them. This type of work takes a holistic look at a patient’s health and focuses not only on the symptoms, but also the broader picture. 

As a nurse health coach, you might consult with doctor’s offices or hospitals. More often, nurse health coaches run their own practice and see patients on a one-on-one basis.

Seeing the long-term outcomes in patients’ health can be highly rewarding and is ideal for nurses who want to work closely with their patients to help them achieve their goals.

3. Specialized Care Provider

Becoming a specialized care provider is a great business idea for nurses who have learned a specialized set of skills throughout their career and want to apply those skills in their own business.

Some examples of a specialized care provider business include:

  • Childbirth training
  • Fertility consulting
  • Lactation consulting
  • Telehealth
  • In-home care
  • Holistic or alternative medicine services
  • Mindfulness and stress reduction

There are a number of ways to take a nursing degree and pair it with a passion to turn it into a business. If there’s a specific aspect of nursing that you love, think about how you can turn it into a business. All you need is passion and the time and patience to turn your idea into a reality.

4. Wellness Coach

As more and more patients move away from taking medication to solve their health issues, they’re looking for alternative methods and more holistic approaches. 

By pairing a nursing degree with a holistic approach to health, you can become a wellness coach. Becoming a health coach will likely require additional training and certification, but it will pair well with the knowledge you already have as a nurse.

When it comes to business ideas for nurses, becoming a wellness coach fits the belief system and knowledge base of many nurses, making this a simple transition. 

5. Nurse Blogger

Many people turn to the internet for information on anything, including (if not especially) medical ailments. And while there are plenty of helpful resources out there, there’s also a lot of misinformation—and in the medical field, this can be especially dangerous. As a nurse, you have a specific knowledge base that can be very helpful to a number of people. Thus, you may decide to start a blog using your nursing credentials and knowledge.

This is an especially easy business to start as a side hustle. In addition to your full-time job as a nurse, you can offer to be interviewed by reporters to provide a medical context. You might also start your own blog to share your perspective on nursing and the medical industry. Your blog can be your entire business or you can use blogging to grow your business. Any of the other business ideas for nurses on this list could also be enhanced by a blog.

6. Hospice Caregiver

As the Baby Boomer generation ages, the demand for in-home senior care and end-of-life care will increase. While the work of a hospice caregiver does deal with the end of someone’s life, it requires more skills than just nursing. Many hospice caregivers are focused on the wellbeing of the patient as the wellbeing of family members. Juggling the physical and mental wellbeing of multiple people doesn’t make this job easy, but it can be very rewarding.

Starting a business as a hospice caregiver can be hard work, not only as a business owner but as a person—the work of a hospice caregiver takes an emotional toll. It’s important that if you choose to go into this line of work, you’re aware of the business risks as well as the risks to your own health. However, if you excel at brightening people’s days and enjoy being able to improve this difficult part of a person’s life, then this could be the perfect fit for you.

7. Childbirth Education or Doula

On the other hand, you may choose to start a business focused on the beginning of a person’s life, rather than the end. Many nurses choose to start a business as a doula, or someone who provides childbirth education to pregnant women.

Starting your own business as a childbirth educator can take a few different paths. Some doulas work one-on-one with pregnant women to prepare them for the birthing process. These doulas are on-call and are on-site for the birth.

Another option for starting your business in childbirth education is to offer classes to people who are preparing for childbirth. Teaching classes can be slightly less intense work than helping couples one-on-one and being present for the births themselves.

8. Fitness Nurse

A fitness nurse is a nurse who works with people to create a personalized health plan that includes exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle changes. This type of health care business is focused on preventing disease instead of treating it.

This new type of nursing might be just the right way to combine your skills with a passion and start a business. Of course, to best serve your clients, you may decide to obtain some additional certifications for nutrition and personal training specifically. Alternatively, you may decide to hire people who specialize in these fields.

9. Medical Product Sales

While many of these business ideas for nurses have focused on using the skills you’ve acquired as a nurse, there is another option for using your knowledge of the medical industry as a whole. You can start a business selling medical products. This might include products for nurses or for the medical industry as a whole. Some examples include selling scrubs, accessories, medical equipment, or medicine.

Starting a business in medical product sales is a great way to use the skills you already have as a nurse. Familiarity with the tools used to treat patients and medications gives you firsthand experiences to help sell products.

10. Telehealth Consulting

A novel innovation that’s becoming more and more popular within the medical field is telehealth. This allows patients to converse with nurses and doctors through phone or video calls. This means patients don’t have to leave their homes to receive diagnoses and prescriptions, and medical professionals can see more patients in a day. 

Starting a business as a telehealth consultant can allow you to practice as a nurse, just like you do now, but without the commute. As a telehealth consultant, you can also set a schedule that’s more flexible for both you and your patients—including early mornings or later at night, when regular doctors’ offices aren’t typically open.

The Bottom Line

Nurses have a special set of skills and a highly specialized knowledge base. This means that there are a number of business ideas for nurses that they can explore that don’t have a ton of competition. Skills in the medical industry will always be in demand, and if you’re ready to branch out from a traditional hospital role to bring your skills to people’s homes or online, you can find a great deal of success.

Sally Lauckner

Sally Lauckner is the editorial director at Fundera and the editor-in-chief of the Fundera Ledger. She has over a decade of experience in print and online journalism. Previously she was the senior editor at SmartAsset—a Y Combinator-backed fintech startup that provides personal finance advice. There she edited articles and data reports on topics including taxes, mortgages, banking, credit cards, investing, insurance, and retirement planning. She has also held various editorial roles at AOL.com, Huffington Post, and Glamour magazine. Her work has also appeared in Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and Cosmopolitan magazines. Sally has a master's degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English and history from Columbia University.  Email: sally@fundera.com.
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