Sunday, September 18, 2016

National Nurses in Business 2016!

If you're a nurse who has ever considered starting a business or entrepreneurial venture, The National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) annual conference is where nursing meets business and entrepreneurship in a powerful, potentially life-changing way. Whether your idea has already blossomed or the seed is still waiting to sprout, this intimate conference puts you face to face with some of the most powerful movers and shakers in nurse entrepreneurship today.

National Nurses in Business Association

As some of the readers of Digital Doorway already know, I've spoken several times at the NNBA annual conference in both its former Orlando home and its current location of Las Vegas, Nevada. My experiences at the NNBA have galvanized new connections with amazing nurse entrepreneurs, cemented previously established relationships, and afforded me face-to-face contact with amazing nurses I had only known via social media.

With Brittney Wilson, Donna Cardillo, & Renee Thompson

To listen to how I was incredibly inspired by the 2015 NNBA event, listen to episode 29 of The Nurse Keith Show, recorded in my hotel room on the final day of the conference; I could hardly contain myself, and I couldn't wait to get home to record my thoughts and feelings.

As a nurse, starting a business doesn't have to be rocket science, and it doesn't need to completely take over your life. You can start a small "profit project" where you plan to earn a few hundred extra dollars a month (e.g.: selling supplements or essential oils), launching a coaching practice, doing freelance writing for nursing websites. or providing CPR and First Aid training for small organizations).

On the other hand, you can choose to go for it, start a home health agency, a concierge nursing service, a consulting practice, or something unique that perhaps no one else has even tried before.

Many nurses seem to think that starting a business means quitting your job, going into debt, maxing out your credit cards, and otherwise mortgaging your life in service to a business. You can certainly do those things if you choose to, but you can also choose to bootstrap your idea, start small, run your business from your kitchen table with little to no overhead, and develop the venture over time at a pace that works for you and your family. My business ventures have been fed and watered over the course of about six years, and I still choose to work part-time as a nurse; it's not all or nothing, folks.

We nurses don't learn anything about business or entrepreneurship in nursing school, and it's high time that we do; short of changing the course of nursing education in one fell swoop, this post is simply about lighting the fire in your belly that's been asking you to think outside the box, color outside the lines, and begin creating a new lifestyle and workstyle that bring you more joy and satisfaction (and perhaps more money, to boot).

Launching a business as a nurse entrepreneur can seem scary, especially if you feel isolated and alone. Please know that there are so many nurses feeling the same way, and the NNBA conference brings together experienced nurse entrepreneurs, business experts, moderately experienced nurse entrepreneurs who are in the middle of the journey, and those who have yet to begin. Your first step could simply be making the choice to attend the conference, meet some of the major players in the entrepreneurial nursing space, and rub shoulders with those who are exactly where you are.

At the end of the day on Saturday the 15th, I'll be wrapping up the day with a 60-minute talk on networking and branding for the savvy 21st-century nurse entrepreneur; this is only one presentation out of many that will give you such valuable inspiration and information. 

And if you're not already aware, the three of us from RNFM Radio will be teaching a pre-conference workshop on the power of podcasting for nurses and nurse entrepreneurs; I highly recommend it!

Please consider joining us in Las Vegas on October 14th, 15th, and 16th, where you'll meet some of most amazing nurses around. Where else can you chat over a drink with an amazing nurse entrepreneur, attend excellent pre-conference workshops and breakout sessions, and hear a plethora of inspiring speakers focused on supporting and inspiring you and your fellow nurse entrepreneurs?

I hope to see you there! 


Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind and the well-known blog, Digital Doorway.

Keith is co-host of, a wildly popular nursing podcast; he also hosts The Nurse Keith Show, his own podcast focused on career advice and inspiration for nurses. Keith is also the resident nursing career expert at

A widely published nurse writer, Keith is the author of "Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century." He has also contributed chapters to a number of books related to the nursing profession, and currently writes for MultiViews News Service,, StaffGarden, and Working Nurse Magazine.

Mr. Carlson brings a plethora of experience as a nurse thought leader, online nurse personality, holistic career coach, writer, and well-known successful nurse entrepreneur. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his lovely and talented wife, Mary Rives.
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