Nurses have always been known for their ingenuity and problem solving skills. They have also been known for keeping cool under pressure and being creative. Perhaps it is these qualities in nurses that also make many of them successful entrepreneurs.
From specialty products to training others in their specialty or profession, nurses have risen to the challenge of being entrepreneurs in many different areas of business. Here are the stories of just a few prosperous nurse entrepreneurs who have dared to make the lives and careers of others better.
Sharon Rogone used her experience as a NICU nurse to invent products that improve care for the tiniest patients in the hospital. Her specialty product line is known as Small Beginnings. After working as an LVN and then RN in the NICU, Rogone began to take note that nurses did not have the tools they needed to appropriately treat their patients. It was this realization that motivated her to create specialty products to help nurses help their NICU patients.
She started her business with $3,000, and one product, the bili-bonnet phototherapy mask. From her passion she created other products to help babies in the NICU and gave them all a two year warranty. Rogone states that to be a successful nurse entrepreneur one must have cost effective ideas and products, as well as perseverance and determination. Her products are used in many hospitals throughout the nation and appreciated by many nurses and tiny patients.
Marie Biancuzzo, RN, MS, IBCLC, has over three decades of experience behind her as a clinical nurse expert in all things childbearing. She has worked in many roles including staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, nurse administrator, and has held faculty positions at Georgetown University, University of Rochester, and Alfred University.
While working in nursing, Marie noted that there needed to be more formal education and training in the field of lactation. Marie founded Breastfeeding Outlook, authored Breastfeeding the Newborn: Clinical Strategies for Nurses, and has written over 100 articles as well as independent study modules for nurses and support staff. She also travels around the country for Breastfeeding Outlook, providing seminars for those wishing to sit for the IBCLC exam and who need to earn contact hours for other reasons.
In addition, Marie is a founding member of the United States Breastfeeding Committee and has served as president of Baby-Friendly USA Board of Directors. Marie believes it is her own clinical experience and research that has moved her into success as an entrepreneur.
Vickie Milazzo is the authority on legal nurse consulting. After working long and tiring hours as an RN herself, Vickie decided there had to be a better way. In 1982, she founded the Vickie Milazzo Institute, a resource center for nurses who want to get into the field of legal nurse consulting. Since then Vickie has become a New York Times Bestselling author and was awarded Inc. Top 10 Entrepreneur of the Year, as well as receiving many other awards, accolades, and accomplishments.
In addition to a background in nursing, she is also a lawyer. She developed the certification in legal nurse consulting and is called the pioneer of the legal nurse consulting field. Vickie is responsible for creating this new career field in nursing.
All of these nurses who became entrepreneurs noticed a problem and decided to create a way fix it on a larger scale. From tiny NICU patients and their nurses who needed better care, to staff who needed better lactation training, to nurses who needed more rewarding and fulfilling careers; these women entrepreneurs stepped out and made change happen all while prospering their own business.
If you want to follow in the footsteps of Vickie, Marie, or Sharon, you can realistically get there if you’re motivated enough. The first, and arguably most important, step is to go back to school and get graduate degree in the field. Earning a degree in nursing may not guarantee any specific form of success, but when combined with dedicated motivation, that education can pave the way towards a number of rewarding careers.
About the Author: Sarah Daren is a writer who creates informative articles relating to the field of health. In this article, she describes a few nurses turned entrepreneurs and aims to encourage further study with an online master’s of science in nursing.