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Nurses urged to unleash entrepreneurial spirit

Nurses have been urged to seize the opportunities for entrepreneurialism under the Health and Social Care Bill by a nursing leader.

In an address to nursing students at the Buckinghamshire New University on 3 November, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer Dr David Foster said the bill had led to "a lot of uncertainty but also a huge amount of opportunity".

He claimed nurses can be "fantastic innovators" and "are great at leading change".

"I think the future will bring increasing opportunities for entrepreneurship and while it is a time of transition I think there is also plenty of opportunity to develop services and fill areas that will be of benefit to patients, families and communities," said Dr Foster.

Dr Carol Pook, Head of the School of Pre-Qualifying Nursing, told NiP the opportunities the bill provides for nurses stem from the proposed introduction of any qualified provider.

She said it reflects a "substantial" change in how nurses will engage and provide care for "both patients and clients".

"Nurses could offer themselves as a 'qualified provider' and work on a freelance basis," she said.

"This could see them working in different organisations in different ways."

While she said nurses have a great capacity to cope with change, she claimed entrepreneurship was not a "natural fit" for nursing students.

Dr Foster was not available to speak to NiP when asked to elaborate on the opportunities the bill provides for nurses. 

Bucks New University

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“Not in the past, but that is changing now. Lots of examples, though it is not easy and nurses being entrepreneurial (even within their own organisations) have to be tough to survive.” - Rosemary Cook, London