GuidelinesWhy Nurses Make Excellent Entrepreneurs: Insider Tips for Launching Your Own Healthcare...

Why Nurses Make Excellent Entrepreneurs: Insider Tips for Launching Your Own Healthcare Venture

Nursing is a rewarding and growing career field that offers stability, job security, competitive salaries, and the chance to make a meaningful impact. As the population ages and healthcare needs expand, there is an increasing demand for qualified nurses across settings.

This makes nursing an excellent option if you are a business student looking to switch into healthcare. Combining business and nursing can open up additional career paths beyond bedside nursing. With the right education and experience, nurses can move into leadership, administrative, or advanced practice roles.

A business background gives you transferable skills to thrive in these types of positions.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to leverage your business degree to become a nurse and advance in your career:

Earn Your Nursing Degree

Why Nurses Make Excellent Entrepreneurs: Insider Tips for Launching Your Own Healthcare Venture.

The first step to becoming a nurse is completing an accredited nursing program. There are a few paths you can take:

  • Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN): This 2-year degree allows you to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and gain licensure as a registered nurse. ADN programs are often offered at community colleges and focus heavily on clinical training.
  • Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN): A 4-year BSN program expands on clinical education to include coursework in areas like research, leadership, and community health. Many employers show preference for BSN-prepared nurses.
  • Accelerated BSN: If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, accelerated BSN programs allow you to complete nursing prerequisites and core content in 12-18 months. They move at an intense pace but let you change careers quickly.

I recommend pursuing at least a BSN if you want to advance in leadership or administrative roles later on. The additional coursework gives you a strong foundation to build upon with graduate education.

Pass the NCLEX Exam

After graduating from an accredited nursing program, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to receive your nursing license. The NCLEX tests your competency in providing safe, effective nursing care.

Be sure to thoroughly prepare using practice questions and study guides. Many accelerated BSN programs have NCLEX pass rates over 90% due to the focused preparation students receive.

Gain Clinical Experience

Spend 1-2 years gaining hands-on experience in your specialty of choice after passing the NCLEX. Clinical experience gives you credibility and an insider view of workflow processes. This helps tremendously when you step into an administrative or leadership role later on.

Many new nurses start their careers in medical-surgical, critical care, oncology, pediatrics, or emergency department settings. Think about which patient population or care environment aligns with your passions and career goals.

Earn an Advanced Degree

Furthering your education opens more career advancement opportunities and higher earning potential. There are several graduate degrees that nurses pursue:

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): Choose an MSN with a focus in healthcare leadership, nursing administration, or nursing informatics. This prepares you for managerial roles.
  • MBA: Pair your MSN with an MBA to gain deeper business acumen to oversee large departments or facilities. Dual MSN/MBA programs efficiently combine both skill sets.
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): The DNP is the highest practice-focused degree in nursing, preparing you for executive-level leadership or advanced practice.

An MSN or MBA helps you leverage both your clinical background and business knowledge to improve care delivery processes. The coursework focuses heavily on leadership development, financial management, quality improvement, and communication.

Apply for Leadership Roles

Once you have an advanced degree and clinical experience under your belt, you will be well-qualified to transition into leadership roles such as:

  • Nursing Manager or Director
  • Quality and Safety Officer
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Healthcare Administrator

It is valuable to gain some management experience prior to pursuing high-level executive positions. This allows you to learn the ropes while overseeing a single unit or department.

Be proactive in seeking out mentorship opportunities from current nurse leaders. They can give you advice and sponsor you for new roles as they open up.

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Nurses with business savvy also make excellent entrepreneurs. The clinical insight paired with business acumen allows nurse entrepreneurs to identify healthcare needs and provide innovative solutions. Some examples of successful nurse-owned businesses include home health agencies, nurse staffing firms, private practice clinics, telehealth companies, and medical device or technology start-ups.

Take advantage of resources through your alumni network, local Small Business Association office, or nurse entrepreneur organizations to help bring your business idea to life.


Pursuing nursing as a career change from business gives you an edge in standing out from other applicants. Your business knowledge combined with clinical experience prepares you well for leadership and advanced practice positions. Follow this pathway of earning your nursing degree, gaining clinical experience, pursuing graduate education, and considering entrepreneurial ventures.

Before you know it, you’ll be the chief nursing officer of a major hospital or running your own nurse-led clinic!

The demand for nurses shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Now is an excellent time to make the leap into this dynamic, rewarding profession.

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