Role of Requirements of a Nursing Entrepreneur

Nursing Entrepreneur

There are numerous careers and opportunities available in the nursing and health care field. The health care industry is expected to have one of the fastest growth rates through the next 10 years. What better time than now to proclaim a self made product or idea, especially when registered nurses have definite advantages over the general public when it comes to starting a business. This growth rate of healthcare jobs is expected to add a projected 4 million new wage and salary jobs, indicating the optimal time for nurse entrepreneurs to seek the opportunity to create and start their own business. Nursing entrepreneurship can vary widely by the type of career one would want to uphold. This can include starting a company or clinic, independent contractor, developing medical devices, computerized systems, a home health business, developing home health products, infection control, case management, telehealth nursing and can even include known careers such as a Legal Nurse Consultant or family/nurse practitioner. Nursing entrepreneurship is a complex career choice but can yield beneficial results concerning compensation, settings, demand, and legal implications.

Requirements and Compensation

The educational requirements for a nursing entrepreneur are similar to the requirements of a registered nurse. This begins with starting education for an ASN, Associate of Science in Nursing, or a BSN, Bachelor of Science in Nursing. To be an entrepreneur, it would be wise to consider taking Business classes, or better yet to consider a double major or even a minor in Business. According to Colorado State University – Pueblo’s requirements for a minor in Business Administration, a total of 21 credit hours are needed to understand the fundamentals of accounting, economics, finance, and to understand the basics of managing a business by marketing a product or service. (CSU-P, 2013). With this, to become any type of registered nurse, one would then need to successfully pass the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain a nursing license. To start off a nursing career, one can work as an RN and begin their profession as a nurse entrepreneur from there.

Starting a business requires a few more steps after becoming a nurse. To start a business, one must establish a business entity with the Secretary of State’s office. This requires filing a document and creating a new record with the Secretary of State’s office and after, the entrepreneur can register a Trade name or reserve a name. Then, one must obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), with the Internal Revenue Service in the occurrence of a corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, limited liability partnership or even sole proprietor with employees. Then, filing your business with the State of Colorado online or a CR 0100 form is the next step. This involves applying for sales tax account, wage withholding account, and/or unemployment insurance account at the Department of Revenue, Colorado Business Registration.

The final step is business licensing and registration, which is not necessary for every business, but obtaining a Nurse Licensure compact may be wise. License verification can be done through NURSYS verification to verify license and to receive detailed report. The National Nurses in Business Association offers their members a free business plan template that is customized for nurses and offers unlimited help to complete the plan. The typical salary for a nursing entrepreneur can vary greatly based on the type of entrepreneurship one plans on acquiring. Typically this can be in an average range of $129,000 for a registered nurse entrepreneur job in the state of Colorado. (Simply Hired, 2014). It can vary based on the industry, company, location, and experience. Independent nurse contractors set the terms of their services and negotiate their salary for themselves.

Job Description and Setting

The career path of a Nursing Entrepreneur has countless possibilities. This involves the capability of promoting oneself, being able to start a business while also creating and selling a product and/or providing a service. Nurses can venture off in many different directions concerning what type of business they want to establish. To illustrate how vast the career field is for nursing entrepreneurship, let’s begin with a few different career choices and their descriptions.

Physicians can establish their own medical office and collaborate with other specialty physicians to provide a wider base of care providing to patient needs. Nurses can open and operate a consultancy company providing a service offering clients information, instruction, advice and even opinions based on their needs and what they seek. A healthcare risk management (HCRM) reduces the risk for financial loss and property loss by identifying a client’s risk and reducing and eliminating them. A legal nurse consultant, LNC, can be hired by law firms as an independent consultant as well as an in-house staff, they combine entrepreneurship work with attorney-clients and define applicable standards of care. A legal nurse consultant reviews and interprets medical records as related to a case, research medical issues, medical diagnosis along with terms and procedures of treatments, medical examinations, prepare discovery and disclosure of documents, reviewing a case for merit, and obtaining authoritative witnesses. These are prime examples of career paths an entrepreneur can follow, although being an entrepreneur is not limited to just these options.

The work setting of any entrepreneur can take place at home or where ever the entrepreneur decides to take practice as a self-employed, independent practice including; hospitals, clinics, healthcare facilities, law firms, agencies, insurance companies and establishing business made by the entrepreneur.

History and Demand

The role of a nurse entrepreneur dates back to 1854 in England by Florence Nightingale who established a worldwide change in health care. She introduced the first secular nursing training. The history continues with Mary Grant Seacole and Clara Barton, who were both considered entrepreneurs of their time. Mary Grant Seacole was rejected by the Nightingale School of Nursing and governing military forces. Without help in the 1850s, she fearlessly began a hotel to house wounded soldiers on both sides of the Crimean war to recover. Clara Barton founded the American National Red Cross in 1881 and also established the Bureau of Records of Missing Army Men at her own expense. The opportunities of an entrepreneur was quickly changing and expanding through time and during the 1970s nurses began to develop businesses and consulting services. (NNBA, 2013). The demand for nurse entrepreneurs is growing, like most health care careers, as more nurses step out and begin their own businesses. Entrepreneurs are self-employed and may employ others to work with and for them, creating more jobs for more individuals.

Legal Implications

As a nurse entrepreneur, a standard of care needs to be followed along with identifying safety measures and pursuing a standard of policies and procedures. If the career path is in pursuit of developing a product, registering a trade name for the product is well advised. The product also needs to be safe or the entrepreneur can be held liable for use of the product by consumers if the product is deemed unsafe or defective. Warnings about the product also need to be provided. Product liability insurance protects the business from claims of damage caused by a product from the client. A nurse entrepreneur should obtain an “errors-and-omission” professionally liability insurance. This insurance protects a company and individuals from claims made by clients for inadequate work or negligent actions.

Nursing Theory

Alberta Bendura’s self-efficacy theory (SET) best reflects entrepreneurism. Self-efficacy is defined by the belief that one has the power to produce an proficient outcome by completing a given task or an activity related to that competency. An entrepreneur is a person who is set to accomplish a goal to own their own business and self-efficacy relates a person’s perception of their own ability to reach a goal. The three factors that influence self-efficacy are environment, behaviors, and personal/cognitive factors. The environment reflects where and what type of business the entrepreneur created and what they present to the client. Behaviors from both the client and entrepreneur affect each other in the terms of effective service. A mastery of this theory is by achievement through perseverance and overcoming of obstacles by observing others succeed through a sustained effort. An entrepreneur succeeds when the business has successful growth while obtaining a client’s satisfaction of service. “Motivation, performance, and feelings of frustration associated with repeated failures determine affect and behaviour relations” (Bandura, 1986).


Nursing entrepreneurship is a special career designed for those who want to take charge of the service they provide to the public. Entrepreneurship provides the opportunity to be one’s own boss while maintaining the freedom of hours and work setting. Bendura provides an excellent theory for entrepreneurs to base their business on and provides the perspective of success by maintaining self-efficacy through environment, behaviors and personal/cognitive factors. Nursing entrepreneurship is the ideal career for those who are business savvy and have a passion for providing a product or service to their expanding customer/client base. A successful nurse entrepreneur demonstrates great leadership and remarkable creativity skills while also remaining fearless enough to take risks and venture their own path.


Dickinson, J. (2011). The origins and evolution of legal nurse consulting. Journal Of Legal Nurse Consulting, 22(2), 3-7.

Robson, B. (2009). From emergency nurse to legal nurse consultant and independent practitioner: legal nurse consulting? What is that?. NENA Outlook, 32(2), 24-26.

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