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Alene Nitzky is an oncology nurse, author of Navigating the C: A Nurse Charts the Course for Cancer Survivorship Care, Blue Bayou Press, 2018. She is a cancer exercise trainer and health coach, and is CEO/Founder of Cancer Harbors®.

Nurse Entrepreneurs Take the Healthcare World by Storm

A weekend of immersion in the energy and enthusiasm of the National Nurses in Business Association annual conference left me recharged and ready to take my own ideas forward.
How many times have you thought at work, “There has to be a better way to do this!”

Last week I attended the National Nurses in Business Association annual conference held in Las Vegas, and I realized that nurse-owned businesses are taking the healthcare world by storm. Naturally gifted with the qualities required for success-talent, resourcefulness, creativity, knowledge, education, experience, and skills-no nurse takes on a task halfway; they go over and above with 100% dedication and commitment.

Nurses go into business for many reasons, but most cite the desire to provide solutions to problems that are not being solved in traditional healthcare, wanting to provide better services and quality of life to the clients and patients they serve.

A weekend of immersion in the energy and enthusiasm of this wave of innovation left me recharged for taking my own ideas forward. It was simply the best conference I have ever attended, with the most timely, useful, practical, and professionally relevant set of offerings I could have asked for. It is truly an investment in personal and professional growth, as well as a door to connect with a huge number of fascinating, creative, and welcoming people.

Many attendees do not yet have businesses but are interested in starting one. The conference offers building blocks for those with no business experience, who are new to entrepreneurship. The offerings are aimed at nurses with a range of entrepreneurial experience, from dreamers and new business owners, to advanced topics for experienced business owners. I met other nurses who have started businesses in bereavement care, patient advocacy, case management, coaching, and product development, in addition to seasoned authors, speakers, podcasters, and social media mavens!

Nurses in business truly see each other as assets. We all want each other to succeed, and success is contagious! I left this conference with new colleagues I never even imagined I’d meet. I encourage all nurses who even have an inkling of going into business to attend this conference. I won’t miss it again!

The sessions I attended were on social media marketing skills for nurse-owned businesses, podcasting (easier than you think!), and how to advance your career as a professional speaker. In the speaking session, I learned how to begin networking with the right people to obtain speaking engagements, how to market myself more effectively as a speaker, how to charge for my services, ways to improve on my speaking, how to deliver a great presentation, and how to avoid many of the pitfalls of starting out.

I have an action plan and have set some new business goals for myself through the end of this year and for 2019. I will be using the skills I learned right away to make changes to my profiles on LinkedIn and other platforms, reaching out for guidance from speakers’ organizations, presenting a series of live videos, and reaching out to my new acquaintances. I already have formed a small group to ensure our mutual accountability to the action plans and goals we formed from the conference.

Perhaps the most important thing I took away from the conference was expanding my network with other professionals who share my passion for better care. It always helps to have support and a little cheerleading from the sidelines!

Nursing schools and professional specialty organizations would do well to reach out to organizations like the National Nurses in Business Association. The future of nursing is in entrepreneurship. Nurse entrepreneurs have been in the system, see the flaws, and want to fix them. They have more efficient, creative, compassionate, and economical solutions for better delivery of care.

Talk about this article with nurses and others in the oncology community in the General Discussions Oncology Nursing News discussion group.
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