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What steps should a nurse take to start a business?

Dear Donna,

I am considering starting my own business. I want to work one on one with people to help them reduce stress in their lives and be more active and healthy. Am I dreaming or could this be a viable business for someone like me? What would I have to do to get something like this started?

Wants To Start a Business


Dear Wants To Start a Business,

Your idea is both viable and practical. People have more stress than ever in their lives today and need help getting and staying as healthy as possible. This becomes even more important as life expectancy increases each year. And who better to help with that than an RN? I like to say that we are wellness warriors.
For your information, many other nurses are already successfully doing similar work. Many call themselves wellness coaches. They work with individuals as well as groups, especially in a workplace/corporate setting.
These nurses assess lifestyle, dietary habits, stressors, current level of health and so on, then recommend a plan/course for individuals to follow. Many nurse wellness coaches also teach meditation and mindfulness, along with yoga.
I suggest that you connect with the American Holistic Nurses Association to network with other nurses doing similar work. But you should also contact the National Nurses in Business Association to learn more about becoming a business owner. NNBA is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year at its  annual convention in Las Vegas in October.
I always recommend consulting a nurse attorney before embarking in this type of business, or any type where you are working directly with clients in a nursing capacity. A nurse attorney can help you stay within the boundaries of your nurse practice act (some states have quirky laws for nurses in business), take steps to minimize your overall liability, and answer all of your legal questions.
Please read the article “Considering consulting?” I also mention wellness coaching and self-employment in the article “Time to refocus your career lens.”

Best wishes,


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP,’s career advice columnist is president of Known as The Inspiration Nurse, she is a keynote speaker, retreat and seminar leader, 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.” She brings more than 20 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru. To ask Donna question, email [email protected]

By | 2020-04-06T11:01:04-04:00 August 19th, 2015|Categories: Nursing Careers and Jobs|1 Comment

About the Author:

Barry Bottino
Barry Bottino is a freelance writer and editor who has more than 25 years of experience at various newspapers and magazines.

One Comment

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    Deborah Aderin December 21, 2017 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Hello Donna, I need your guidance in starting a nursing school for LPN and Associate Nursing Degree. I am a Nurse Practitioner, and I also have Masters innNursing Education. I live and work in New York

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