How can I be my own boss?

By on Jul 23, 2013 in Nurse Entrepreneurs

Pat BemisQuestion I received: I’m burned out. I am a 52-year-old RN. I want to be self-employed or own an RN business. Can you help me or point me in the right direction to come out of the labor force and be my own boss?

My answer as published in RN Magazine: Your story is similar to many other nurses. I’d suggest that you start by being a part-time employee while being part-time self-employed. This offers the best of both worlds to many nurses.

The very first thing to do is to find something you enjoy doing. You should enjoy your new work. Look over your past employment and hobbies. What did you like to do most? Do you like to work on the computer? Do you hate to work on the computer? Do you like to teach? Do you hate to teach? Sometimes it helps to list your work history and hobbies. Then look them over and see what part you enjoyed most. Most likely, something will stand out.

After you find out what you enjoy doing, I can help direct you to some of the nursing self-employment career tracks that match your likes and dislikes. It’s best to enter a track that is well developed. Most areas have a book (textbook, manual) that tells you how to provide that particular service. Most likely, you won’t need more formal education. Be aware of all the marketing hype trying to lure you into an expensive course. You don’t need to be certified to practice nursing in any field. Start with the book. It would be a shame to spend thousands of dollars on an expensive course, only to find that it isn’t what you expected.

After you understand how to provide the service, start and build your business. Start part-time and gradually transition to self-employment when the time is right for you. As I said, many nurses like doing both and say it is the best of both worlds.

The good thing is that once you set your goal to be self-employed, your current employment problems will slip into the background and not be as upsetting.

Do the research, develop a plan, implement the plan, and evaluate the outcome. You know the drill. The National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) provides information and assistance for nurses to start and grow their businesses. Look over the free information on the website at