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Forge a New Path in Nursing Without Going Back to School

February 10, 20233 min read

A career in nursing has many potential areas for growth and development.

There are many different paths a nurse can take, from working in a hospital or clinic setting, to providing home health services, to becoming an educator or researcher. Nurses can specialize in a variety of areas such as geriatrics, pediatrics, obstetrics, and mental health. There are a lot of avenues one can choose within the nursing industry.

However, the profession has been streamlined for a very long time. When we are ready for the next step in our career or ready to grow as a nurse, we will seek employment in another area or seek further education. For years this was the pathway nurses took when the time came to spread those nursing wings.  

When we feel we have accomplished all there is to learn on a particular unit, we begin to look around at other options. The nursing profession has a lot to offer as a profession itself. The introduction of advanced nursing degrees has opened a lot of doors for nurses. Some of the most popular are the following: clinical nurse specialist (CNS), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), or Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP).  

The most popular path is the transition of a nurse into a nurse practitioner role. As evident by the influx of nurse practitioners, at one point created an oversaturation within the profession. This only proves that nurses are willing and eager to embark on the next pathway if one is laid out before them.

What if a change is desired but obtaining an advanced degree is not? It can be difficult to achieve a degree while working, taking care of a family or caring for aging parents. 

Some nurses do not want to bear the burden of the financial commitments necessary to receive an advanced degree. Some nurses (me included) could not bear the thought of returning to school. That’s why I am excited to see the growth of nurse entrepreneurship. Whether you are looking to have a service or product-based business, the potentials are endless when it comes to nurses in business. 

Nurse entrepreneurship is one of those avenues that if you build it, they will come … especially if you are filling a need.

As you begin to explore creating a nurse business, begin by asking yourself, what are your passions? What have you done in your career as a nurse that may be able to help someone? Consulting/coaching is a HUGE arena nurses can fill. Lactation consultant, health & wellness coach, nutrition consultant, post op consultant, post op plastic surgery home care consultant, bariatric surgery coach, & cancer consultant. You can also investigate the arena of writing, podcasting, IV hydration, senior foot care, private home care, aesthetics/injections. The potential for so many nursing businesses are limitless! 

Pull on what you know and what you have become an expert in. Nurses do not realize they are experts already! They underestimate what they know. You do not need to have multiple degrees to become an expert. Look at the years of experience, combined with all that you have learned. Nurses are experts with a broad range of knowledge in many areas including anatomy, pharmacology, nutrition, communication, and medical ethics. We are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat a variety of conditions, including illnesses, injuries and chronic health problems. We also possess a deep understanding of human behavior, which helps us provide support and comfort to patients and their families. 

If you are looking at what business you can create beyond the bedside, look at what skills you have gained through the years that may be of value to someone else. What do you see missing in the market? Are there any gaps within healthcare that your business offering could fulfill? As you begin to explore these avenues, keep in mind the market determines your success. Be sure you are fulfilling a need that someone is willing to pay for. 

New year, new you! If you are interested in learning more about starting your own nursing business, explore what The Foot and Nail Institute® has to offer!

nursinghealth servicesnursing professionnurse practitioner
Heather Wilson is a former bedside nurse turned nurse entrepreneur. She is the owner of Everyday Divinity, and the Foot and Nail Institute.

Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson is a former bedside nurse turned nurse entrepreneur. She is the owner of Everyday Divinity, and the Foot and Nail Institute.

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