Nurse entrepreneurship has grown exponentially in the 21st century. These days, it doesn’t take much research to discover that nurses are now enjoying the fruits of their labors in product development, consulting, coaching, writing, podcasting, and many other large and small business endeavors.creating-opportunities-for-nurse-entrepreneurship-and-side-hustles

Nurses are knowledgeable, forward-thinking, and savvy. It’s no surprise that the most trusted profession has found many niches to leverage that trust.

My Side Hustle Story

In the first decade of the century, nurse entrepreneurship lived on the fringes of the online conversations occurring by and about nurses on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. At that time, podcasts were a new phenomenon beginning to catch hold in some industries, and blogging was growing quickly. During that first decade, nurse entrepreneurs began to capture increasing attention as pursuits like blogging, podcasting, and coaching began to catch fire.

I launched my blog in 2005, and as it focused on nursing, it became one of the first nursing blogs on the internet. During this time, I also learned about the growing field of coaching. As I attended workshops, gained knowledge, met others, and saw the growing potential of the coaching field, I found a way to launch a small side hustle as a career coach focused on nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Meanwhile, around 2011, conversations about podcasting were heating up on Twitter, and it wasn’t long before two colleagues and I launched RNFM Radio, arguably one of the first nursing podcasts in existence. This was soon followed by The Nurse Keith Show, my current nursing career podcast, which has reached almost 500 episodes.

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At the same time, I discovered that many healthcare-related websites were beginning to seek out nurses with writing skills who would be willing to create relevant content for their growing online audiences. The freelance nurse writer concept was fairly novel in those early days, and I and several colleagues all found ourselves in demand as content creators for various online brands.

Building side hustles in blogging, podcasting, coaching, freelance writing, and public speaking has been a multifaceted undertaking with a steep learning curve and many twists and turns, but it underscores the reality that many nurses are seeing an avenue to self-generated income and opportunity through an enormous array of business opportunities.

The Current Nurse Business Environment

In this third decade of the 21st century, the notion of the nurse entrepreneur comes as little or no surprise to most individuals paying attention to these developments. The role of the “influencer” has found its way into numerous industries, and nurses are no exception. With nurses gaining traction with a growing number of traditional and online media outlets, some nurses have found themselves in the position of health coach, media correspondent, and resident expert.

For nurses seeking opportunities using their podcasting, speaking, coaching, and writing skills, the ability to create financially and personally rewarding side hustles and full-time businesses has never been stronger.

Along with the growth of nurse entrepreneurship has come the increasing profile of older established organizations like the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) and newer groups such as the Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs, and Leaders (SONSIEL). Online forums and networks also provide excellent support to nurse entrepreneurs, as do nurses who have fashioned themselves into business coaches able to support other nurses on these journeys.

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Even though nurses don’t necessarily learn applicable business and marketing skills in nursing programs, this has not stood in the way of those of us who have chosen to pursue opportunities beyond the bedside. With access to a world of information and support currently available on the internet, self-taught nurse entrepreneurs are finding success, as are nurses who have coupled their nursing education with degrees in communication, marketing, and business administration.

With the flourishing ability to create an online presence through blogs, websites, podcasts, online video channels, and social media accounts, so has nurses’ ability to reach wider audiences grown exponentially.

Whether nurses seek to create online businesses, develop their medical products, work as consultants with large corporations, or establish traditional “brick and mortar” businesses like home health care agencies, wellness clinics, or aesthetic medical spas, the potential for success has never been more significant.

Nurse entrepreneurship has indeed come into its own. For nurses with the drive to have a few side hustles or a full-blown business endeavor, there have never been more possibilities and avenues to pursue.

Keith Carlson
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