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I am 60, in very good health and continue to enjoy many aspects of nursing. I am considering starting my own business. Do you think this is feasible?

Thursday May 30, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I have been an RN for more than 20 years and worked in many different areas, including home health. I moved three years ago and have had a very difficult time obtaining gainful employment. In the past, I have left every job in good standing with most people stating they were very sorry to see me go. I am 60, in very good health and continue to enjoy many aspects of nursing. I would like to find something to do for the next 10 years that is not extremely stressful. I am considering starting my own business where I would check on patients, monitor them, assist with medications and physician appointments and communicate with the family. Contract and fees would be dependent on the needs of the client. I would be bonded, insured and have a limited liability company. Do you think that this is feasible? Do you have any other suggestions?

Budding Entrepreneur

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Budding Entrepreneur,

The job market for nurses is completely shifting, so don't take your current job hunt challenges personally. Many traditional employment opportunities are shrinking while self-employment opportunities are increasing, so you are on the right track. Your idea is a very viable one and something other nurses already are doing. This growing career is referred to as Care Manager or Professional Patient Advocate. Find out more at www.caremanager.org.

Because you are unemployed, I recommend you volunteer as a nurse while you either look for paid employment or launch your business. Consider a senior citizens health center, local public health department, blood bank or the American Red Cross. Volunteering a great way to expand your network and your skill set. Everything happens through networking.

You also should be networking with others in business and healthcare. Consider attending an area meeting of the National Association of Women Business Owners (www.nawbo.org) or a local chamber of commerce meeting. You have to get out there. You never know from where the spark, idea, inspiration, contact or opportunity will come.

Consider attending my “Career Alternatives for Nurses” or “How to Start Your Own Business or Consulting Practice” seminar for more ideas, resources and information and to spend time with like-minded nurses. See where I'll be at www.Nurse.com/Events/CE-seminars/.

Best wishes,
Donna


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.