From Scrubs to Startups: Top 20 Business Ideas for Nurse Entrepreneurs
There are myriad opportunities for nurses who want to venture into the business world, and all the skills you've amassed as a practicing RN will help ensure the success and profitability of your future enterprise.
Whether you're looking to start a small side business or launch a full-fledged enterprise, you'll find inspiration and ideas to get you started in this article. You'll be able to boost your income potential, acquire new skills, and grow professionally. But just as importantly, nurse-led projects make the world a little better every day because they improve the quality of care and, one way or the other, help people lead healthier lives.
And at MDF, our goal is to empower you to succeed in your healthcare business venture - because when you do, everybody wins!
Without further ado, we've curated a list of twenty good ideas suitable for registered nurses with different interests and degrees of nursing or business expertise. If you're a nurse with a knack for entrepreneurship, why not take the first step and go into business for yourself?
Let's get right into it.
Why Should You Start Your Own Business as a Registered Nurse?
Starting a new business is a big decision that can have a ripple effect on your entire life. If you're still weighing in the benefits of embarking on this journey, get out your yellow legal pad and let's look at some of the advantages:
• As a nurse, you're in a unique position to identify gaps in healthcare in your community and develop innovative solutions to meet those needs. By starting your own side hustle, you can address people's unmet needs (or wants), contributing to a fairer and more inclusive distribution of health services.
• Entrepreneurship offers flexibility in terms of work schedule and location. You can create a program that works for you and your clients, or you may even be able to work remotely.
• Starting a business gives nurses more control over their work and career trajectory. You can create your vision and set your own goals for the business. Ultimately, you'll push yourself out of your comfort zone and grow personally and professionally.
• We can't disregard the increased earnings potential. As a business owner, you stand to earn more than you would in a traditional nursing role. Of course, it won't always be easy, and the first months or years may be more challenging, but once you settle into a routine and know what you're doing, the earnings will follow.
Great Business Ideas for Future Nurse Entrepreneurs
Let's put your entrepreneurial spirit to work and dive into the twenty ideas that can help you turn your nursing skills into a successful business.
1. Start a home nursing caregiving service
Setting up a home healthcare business is one of the best ideas for nurses. The demand is incredible. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of home health and personal care aides will grow 25% from 2021 to 2031. In perspective, the average projected growth for all occupations is 5 percent. With over 711,000 openings expected every year over the decade in home healthcare jobs, now's the time to breach into the industry. You can start small by providing in-home care to patients by yourself or launch into larger home health business opportunities.
By starting a home health agency, you'll have a wider reach and the opportunity to provide personalized in-home care for more clients who may be unable to leave their homes due to medical reasons. Whether it's for patients with chronic illnesses, disabilities, or geriatric patients, your services will help them live as independently as possible and improve their quality of life.
2. Open a private APRN office
If you're an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), have you considered starting your own private practice? Many APRNs, especially nurse practitioners, choose to open an independent practice since their advanced education and training grant them the right to work autonomously without physician supervision.
However, make sure to check on state requirements. While nearly half of the U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C., allow nurse practitioners to open their own offices and provide care independently, some states still have reduced practice or restricted practice rules. But if you meet the criteria and live in a state where you can launch your practice unencumbered, check our guide for excellent tips and tricks on getting your practice off the ground.
When you do open your private office, you'll need a trusted partner by your side. MDF Instruments offers high-quality, reliable medical equipment that will prepare you to take over the business world while ensuring your clients feel confident and comfortable.
3. Go into health coaching
Do you want to help people improve their overall well-being by providing guidance and support in nutrition, exercise, stress management, and disease prevention? Are you passionate about coaching and want to start a business that plays on your strengths?
Launch into the field of health coaching and combine both things!
You can work with clients one-on-one or in group settings, offering personalized wellness plans and accountability to help them achieve their health goals. Plus, with a nursing background, you have a unique advantage in understanding the human body's complexities and the importance of a holistic approach to health.
4. Become a nutritionist
With the increasing awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle, more and more people are seeking guidance from nutritionists to improve their health, prevent chronic diseases, and manage their weight. Here's where your undertaking comes in.
You can start a service providing personalized nutrition advice to clients. And the best part? This kind of nursing startup can be relatively low cost, as you mostly need basic equipment and software to manage your clients and schedule appointments. You can also start small and gradually grow your business as you gain more clients.
Of course, your nursing training will come in handy as you already deeply understand the human body and the critical role nutrition plays in maintaining good health. Still, you may have to pursue certifications in the field to ensure you comply with regulations and to enhance people's trust. The Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB), the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS), Commission on Dietetic Registration (RDN) all offer credentialing opportunities to aspiring nutritionists.
5. Start a health and safety consulting business
Occupational and industrial health and safety consultants are in high demand as employers seek to reduce the financial impact of work-related injuries and comply with federal regulations. According to statistics, work-related medically consulted injuries totaled 4.26 million in 2021.
Many of those injuries were severe enough to require time off work or ongoing medical attention. To prevent harmful events, more employers hire consultants to train employees, evaluate procedures, and reinforce their safety programs. Nurses who specialize in occupational health have the potential to play a crucial role in this field, utilizing their healthcare expertise to help businesses maintain safe and healthy work environments.
6. Start a blog as a side nursing business
Launching a blog or website is a nursing business venture that you can start from the comfort of your home office. It's a fantastic way to share your expertise, improve access to valuable information, and connect with others in and out of the healthcare industry.
It's important to note that it may take a while before you rely on your blog as a singular source of income. Still, if you consistently create valuable content and build a loyal following of readers, you will soon start noticing results. You can start a blog as a side hustle and eventually choose to go into it full-time.
7. Try the midwifery route.
Becoming a nurse midwife is an excellent business opportunity for nurses passionate about women's health and wanting to partake in the miracle of bringing life into the world.
As a nurse midwife, you will work with expectant mothers throughout their pregnancy, providing prenatal care, delivery assistance, and postpartum support. There are few things more rewarding in nursing than bearing witness to a newborn's first cry and experiencing the immense joy that such a tiny human can bring to a family.
8. Set up shop in a medical spa.
Set up shop in a medical spa and combine your nursing expertise with your passion for wellness and beauty. With the proper training, you can offer a wide range of non-surgical treatments, such as facials, chemical peels, and laser hair removal, all while ensuring the safety and well-being of your clients.
The ultimate goal of this small business idea is to help people feel more confident, rejuvenated, and comfortable in their own skin. If you manage that, you'll appreciate your chosen career path even more. Seeing the positive impact of your work on a daily basis is bound to do that to you!
9. Go into physical therapy
Starting a physical therapy practice can be your ticket to owning a good, stable business that will greatly benefit those under your care. You can help people recovering from injuries or illnesses regain strength, mobility, and function.
You can also go further and specialize in sports physical therapy. It's an exciting path where you work with athletes to help them overcome injuries and improve their performance. This job will uniquely position you to provide a holistic approach to care, focusing on injury prevention, rehabilitation, and pain management.
10. Start a nurse staffing agency
Launching a nurse staffing agency comes with great prospects if you're ready to take the plunge into the entrepreneurial arena. It's perfect for RNs who enjoy the administrative side of nursing and have a talent for matching the right people with the right jobs.
As a nurse staffing agency owner, you will connect healthcare facilities with qualified nursing professionals who meet their staffing needs. By building relationships with both clients and job candidates, you can create a thriving business that helps meet the high demand for nursing staff in various healthcare settings. It will take work, but with the right marketing and networking strategies, you can build an excellent reputation and expand your company to new markets.
11. Look into legal nurse consultancy
Imagine a business opportunity at the intersection of Gray's Anatomy and Suits. For people interested in law who have a nursing background, that can take the form of a career in legal nurse consulting.
This exciting and unique venture involves working with attorneys on cases involving medical issues and providing your expert opinion on medical records and other medical-related evidence. You take your nursing knowledge and analytical skills and transfer them into a whole new playground. Your input will prove crucial in building strong cases and negotiating settlements. You will not only offer valuable insights to your clients but can also make a significant impact on the legal system.
Who said that real life is nothing like in TV shows?
12. Start a massage therapy business
Massage therapy services can be a fulfilling and lucrative business idea for nurses who are not afraid of a challenge. Combining the two disciplines of nursing and massage therapy into a viable client-centered practice can take some work, but the rewards will be proportional to the effort.
If you run your own gig as a massage therapist, you'll work by appointment, resulting in greater control over your life and career. You can schedule your work hours, choose your clients, and have a great deal of autonomy. Not to mention that you'll make a meaningful impact on their health and happiness. All the more reason to consider taking the leap.
13. Begin a health education startup.
Health education is an essential sphere of activity that holds many prospects for nurses who want to use their expertise to advance healthcare knowledge in the community.
Draw from your passion for health promotion, and create informative and interactive programs that educate people about disease prevention, healthy lifestyles, and overall wellness. Always do your homework - this is a business that advances education, after all - and partner up with schools, community centers, and other organizations to reach a wider audience and have a more significant impact on public health.
Private physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities all use transcription in their practice. Everything from voice notes to medical records, patient histories, and important medical documents require transcribing, and your business could respond to this need.
With a strong background in medical terminology and knowledge of the healthcare industry, who'd be more suitable for the job than a registered nurse? So, take a chance on yourself and start a medical transcription business. You'd be providing a valuable service, and by doing quality work, you'll soon build an impressive reputation and roster of clients.
15. Get into nursing tutoring as a small business opportunity
Do you remember the many nights you spent studying in nursing school, trying to grasp complex concepts, and preparing for exams? Many nursing students go through similar experiences and would benefit from having a knowledgeable nurse help them better understand the material.
You can start a side business offering tutoring services to nursing students who need help with their coursework. This is especially helpful for students preparing for the NCLEX exam. Not only will you provide a very practical service, but you will also give back to their profession, ensuring that future generations of nurses will be well prepared for the challenges of the job.
16. Consider nursing equipment sales
To be successful in their practice, nurses need the right gear and equipment. This equipment ranges from gloves and masks (PPE) to the crucial diagnostic tools RNs use daily, such as stethoscopes or sphygmomanometers. You could start an enterprise focused on bringing nurses one step closer to the vital equipment they need.
Breaking into nursing equipment sales can be challenging, but if you do thorough research and create a solid business plan, you'll have a solid base to launch your venture.
17. Think about opening a medical tourism agency
Another fantastic business idea is establishing a medical tourism company that facilitates travel for people searching for cost-effective healthcare services abroad.
Medical tourism is becoming increasingly popular, and often, people who are interested in traveling abroad for healthcare purposes require assistance in picking the best destination. Here's where you come in. Start a medical tourism agency that arranges travel and medical services for patients, helping them find the best medical care at the most affordable prices. Your background in nursing and knowledge of different healthcare systems around the world will be instrumental.
18. Start a fitness business
Whether you have a passion for personal training, group fitness, or creating innovative workout products, there are many opportunities to turn your love of fitness into a successful business. For example, you can become a personal trainer, start a gym, or create a fitness app - the possibilities are endless.
You could be helping people feel better and gain confidence, all while getting paid to do what you love. So grab your sweatband, lace up your sneakers, and take the first step towards building a thriving fitness business.
19. Open a childcare center
Starting a childcare center can be a fulfilling and exciting prospect for nurses passionate about working with the youngest members of our society. With the growing demand for childcare services, opening a center can fill a vital need in your community while also generating income.
You can look into offering full-day care or after-school programs. Regardless of your chosen path, what matters most is creating a nurturing and safe environment for children. From hiring experienced and caring staff to designing a stimulating and developmentally-appropriate curriculum, there are many factors to consider when launching your child care center. But with careful planning and a commitment to providing high-quality services, your business will be a success.
20. Create a nurse-inspired art and design side business
Are you a nurse with a creative streak? Do you dream of combining your passion for art with your love for nursing? Start your own little art and design business!
From canvas paintings of colorful medical diagrams to quirky scrubs-themed greeting cards, posters, or other home decor items, the sky is your limit. By owning an online or physical store, you can share your nursing skills and artistic flair with the world - and boost your income while you're at it.
Let your inner artist heal the world, one masterpiece at a time.
Are You Ready to Begin Your Nursing Entrepreneurial Journey?
These top twenty business ideas for nurses are inspiring and achievable - and we hope you found your next adventure in our list!
Whatever you choose, you have the power to turn your passion and experience into a successful business venture. All it takes is determination and commitment. And a lot of hard work. But that wouldn’t stop you from trying, would it?
Who knows, you might just become the next big thing in nursing entrepreneurship!
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