Do nurses make successful entrepreneurs?
This is a question I am often asked by nurses who have noticed that there are nurses who have made a successful business, often starting from scratch and doing most of it themselves.
as nurses we have been taught to multi-task, work under pressure, make decisions quickly, exist with little or no sleep and to keep going when the going gets tough. Additionally many of us have juggled work with family and personal pressures, missed put on many social occasions, become an expert at saying “Sorry I can’t come, I’m working” and got on with the job “because it needs to get done”. All of these characteristics will come in very handy when running your own business. We already know how to make the hard decisions, knowing that not everyone will agree with what we decided. We’ve had lots of occasions when we’ve had to go to work while everyone else is enjoying a holiday, knowing that it is our job to turn up and work hard. All of these attributes gives nurses an edge when deciding on to go down a different path to pursue their dream of being in charge of their own work life.
Some of the skills that make us great nurse entrepreneurs include; communication, teaching, counselling, planning, creativity, caring. All of these will come in handy as a business owner
I still remember as a nursing student when Sr. Carey (yes we called our tutors “Sr” in the old days) told us that we had to learn to stand on our own two feet, believe in the decisions we made and to stand up for our patients no matter what! Sr. Carey taught me to believe in myself and to trust my intuition. Later I read Patricia Benners’ work (From novice to expert)on intuition and realised that the decisions I made (many without really thinking through the process) were because I had the experience, skills and knowledge and that I had learnt to rely on this, especially in emergency situations. These attributes also come in handy when I need to make quick decisions in my business and I know that the fact that I nursed for many years has stood me in good stead when going through the challenges of setting up and running my own business!
I learnt to develop excellent communication skills when talking to doctors and showing them that that needed to rethink the management plan. I have taught student nurses on the ward, as well in the classroom. I have mentored new staff on their first day on the job. I was involved in developing policies and procedures.
I’d love to hear what skills and knowledge you already have that you use (or could use) in your business. Share below!