Nurse Entrepreneur Journey – Linnea Stonebraker

By on Aug 13, 2017 in Nurse Entrepreneurs

Linnea Stonebreaker


I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with Linnea Stonebreaker, RN, PhD, founder of the National Institute for Healthcare Education. Linnea spent most of her career in critical care nursing with an advanced degree in healthcare program administration. After three decades nursing, her career choices all seemed to have high stress and long hours. In 2001 she began to look for another way. Her husband had and his own business for over 20 years and suggested Linnea look at starting her own business. She started a direct marketing company with the health oriented parent company and worked hard at this for a couple years. She learned a lot about sales and marketing and the power of residual income through the principle of repeat sales to the same customer.

To help pay the bills while her business was taking off she took registry shifts at local hospitals on their critical care units. One of their requirements for nurses is having a current CPR, also known as BLS card, before they can work. One day, the registry called and told Linnea that she needed to renew her BLS card before she worked another shift. They said not to worry because they had a company that would send an instructor to your home the next day and give you a private CPR class. This was ideal so she set up the appointment. The instructor arrived and proceeded very quickly to review the most recent scientific data with regards to resuscitation, have her practice CPR and administered the written test. He had Linnea’s BLS card ready at the end of the class so she could work a shift that night. It was the easiest experience for renewing the mandatory CPR class that she ever had in her career. After asking a few questions how he got started in the business and how she was looking at a business, he said there was a huge need for more CPR and first aid instructors in the area. He told Linnea that her qualifications as a nurse would allow her to become a BLS instructor and an advanced cardiac life support instructor as well as a pediatric advanced life support instructor. He went on his way and Linnea started thinking.

By May 2003, she had found an American Heart Association training center and started her business. While Linnea made lots of mistakes in the years following, she made lots of good decisions too! Thankful for God’s blessing, in 2013 the National Institute for Healthcare Education, the company she started in her living room in 2003, was awarded by the American Heart Association, the Top 1% Award for being in the top one percent of all their Training Centers.

My take-a-ways from talking with Linnea are hearing her passion to help nurses to inexpensively start and grow a successful business. And, the belief in residual and recurring revenue by providing excellence in training and customer service. You can meet Linnea in person at this year’s conference, September 8-10, in St. Pete Beach, Florida.  Stop by The National Institute for Healthcare Education’s Booth.

    1 Comment

  1. I agree! I also got to have a phone conversation with Linnea and she is an encourager and a true nurse entrepenuer in every sense. She empowered me to not give up on my dreams and to not to listen to critics! I am excited to meet her in person in Florida. She is exactly the type of influential innovator new nurses will need to be impactful and decrease burn out in this complex healthcare system we serve! Excited to work with genuine nurses like Linnea making a difference in the world:)

    Dana Davis

    August 31, 2017

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