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What business opportunities are available for an experienced RN who recently received a non-nursing master's and PhD?

Friday February 7, 2014
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Dear Donna,

I am a 56-year-old RN with a BSN, who graduated 1990 and worked as an RN for seven years, followed by travel assignments after leaving my permanent job. I stopped working and stayed home. I furthered my education with an MSN in public administration and then with a PhD in public policy and administration. It entailed hard work and significant tuition cost.

I am trying to find my niche in the world, would like to start a business, but am at a loss considering my work history dates back to 1997, followed by my new non-nursing academic background. I considered becoming an NP and then operating a clinic, but with the changes to DNP, taking on another doctorate along with my current financial burden seems too much. Do you think there is anything left for me in nursing, or should I simply pursue other opportunities outside the field in public policy?

Wants to Start a Business

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wants to Start a Business,

As an experienced nurse with advanced degrees and an entrepreneurial spirit, I would suggest that you consider starting some type of holistic healing/wellness business. You don't need to be an NP to have your own nursing wellness practice.

There are nurses doing wellness/nutrition/stress management coaching and education, massage therapy and Reiki, working with essential oils and so much more. In fact, this is a growing trend
for nurses.

Connect with the American Holistic Nurses Association (www.ahna.org) to see what other nurses are doing in this specialty and to further explore trends and opportunities. Also connect with the National Nurses in Business Association (www.nnba.net). When there's something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it.

You already have what it takes to be successful. Don't sell yourself short or second guess your capabilities. Start doing some informational interviewing (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with other nurse entrepreneurs. You never know from where the spark, idea, inspiration, connection or opportunity will come. You can find a partial list of nurse entrepreneurs here for some ideas and contacts (http://donnacardillo.com/nurseentrepreneurs/). Start moving in the direction outlined above and the path will be illuminated for you.

Best wishes,

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://www. Nurse.com/Events.