Nurses are on the front lines of health care, so they know exactly what tools and systems they need to do their jobs. With all that experience and knowledge, nurses realize they have a definite advantage when it comes to creating products their peers and colleagues will use.
The health care industry is experiencing a boon as a nationwide focus on entrepreneurship develops, and nurses are catching on to the upswing. As health care evolves and moves away from a model of diagnosis and into a model that also focuses on improving health either with or without the presence of disease, there is space for a lot of innovation.
Nurses are becoming business savvy as well and taking classes and seminars that are focused specifically for nurses who want to find out more about the entrepreneurial side of the nursing industry.
These kinds of programs get nurses thinking along the entrepreneurial path, but they also help nurses refine a product or service. Lots of nurses have excellent ideas, but if the product or solution costs too much to make, if it only appeals to a very small subset of nurses, or if it isn’t presented correctly to potential funders, it won’t become a marketable product.
Nurses should pay particular attention to entrepreneurship studies if they have an idea they know will help others but are unsure how to make that idea a real product or service. Because nurses work in the environment they are trying to improve, they know the areas that are most problematic and often work around any issues. But, frequently, many know ways to fix the problem.
The entrepreneurial courses popping up around the country reflect the trend. The Ohio State University College of Nursing has an entrepreneurship program for nurses, and Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions offers an MSN degree with a Nursing Innovation concentration. And the National Nurses in Business Association is an excellent resource for nurses interested in business as well.
These programs target two different kinds of nurses. There are nurses who are interested in becoming business leaders and who want to start a company or launch a product to cover a wide base. There are also nurses who want to stay in their nursing careers and do not have any interest in starting a company, but they have an idea for making something more efficient, less costly, or as an improvement in care.
A nurse who wants to delve into entrepreneurship and innovation might want to create a product that will help all nurses – like a particularly effective piece of clothing or equipment. But nurses who are less focused on the business and more on the day-to-day improvements, might have an idea about how to make patient care better with a case manager who can facilitate handoff from the hospital to the primary care physician.
Sometimes nurses know exactly what they need, but don’t have time or knowledge of how to actually bring a product to a marketable state. These kinds of classes can help nurses develop that kind of business sense. Even if they do not bring a product to market, they might develop something else along the way.
And courses or seminars where nurses are expected to pitch their product are especially helpful. Pitching a product to investors is a combination of proving the product’s excellence and uniqueness, showing a market need, and fine tuning the persuasive power of your actual pitch. And the more nurses can work with other disciplines (engineers, for example) the greater the chance for creating an technically accurate and wholly marketable product.
Nurses considering these programs or certificates should look into the programs to find out what it offers and to make sure it fits expectations and potential career goals.