Fitness and Nursing- any ideas?

  1. I am a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, as well as an RN. My true passion is for fitness, but I'm not quite ready to give up on my nursing degree. I've been trying to think of a way to combine my nursing background with fitness and open my own business. Does anyone know of any nurses that have done something similar? I've heard of nurses that have a background in maternal/child nursing starting fitness programs for pregnant or new mothers, but I don't have the nursing background for that. Anyone have any ideas?
  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   adboehnen
    I was wondering if you have figured out a way to incorporate fitness and nursing. My true passion is fitness as well. I'd love to get a job in Wellness and Prevention promoting healthy lifestyles and exercise. It would be nice to apply this to my nursing skills and degree.
  4. by   HealthyRN
    No, I haven't yet thought of a way to incorporate fitness and nursing. Eventually, I would love to open my own gym and aerobics studio, but I'm not sure exactly how I would bring in the nursing aspect. I have some ideas, but I'm not at a point in my life that I can make it a reality.

    I've thought of becoming certified as a childbirth educator and offering childbirth classes, as well as fitness classes for pregnant or new mothers. However, I don't have any experience working with pregnant women. I've also thought of working with the elderly population and opening a facility that caters to older adults. I could offer health education classes, fitness classes for the elderly, and serve as a geriatric care manager.

    I would love to hear if you have any other ideas.
  5. by   adboehnen
    HI! I have thought that it would be a good idea to get certification as a Health and Fitness Director through the American College of Sports Medicine. This certification requires an associate or bachelor's degree, which you and I have as nurses. It therefore is of higher caliber than being a Fitness Trainer, not that the general population would necessarily know the difference. Like you, I've tinkered with the idea of having my own gym, but I would like to add a wellness component, encompassing health from fitness, nutrition, and the mental health aspects. Fitness classes, yoga, counseling, providing lectures, etc. Providing more services would create more business, and I would be willing to give lectures at companies piloting wellness programs for employees, the general public, etc. It would also be beneficial is I had a business with a partner or two that had unique skills to offer such as massage, chiropractic, etc.
    I have also seen jobs for Health and Wellness nurses in various places around the U.S. They would all require me to relocate. The YMCA also has positions for Wellness Directors that require bachelor degrees.
    Where do you live? Send me anymore ideas if you come up with them!
  6. by   HealthyRN
    What sites are you looking at that advertise positions for health and wellness nurses? I live in Michigan.

    I have a certification as a health and fitness instructor through the American College of Sports Medicine. I've heard of the health and fitness director certification through the ACSM, but I'm not sure if they offer it any longer. I checked out their website and I don't see the credential listed in their certifications. The ACSM is definitely the way to go for certifications though. It is the most highly respected in the fitness profession.

    Do you have a lot of nursing experience? My lack of experience is the main reason that I am not actively pursuing this. I have only been a nurse for a year and a half and I feel like I need some more experience in order to market my services. Also, I want to save up some money to put toward owning a business. I'm so glad that there is someone out there with similar goals!
  7. by   adboehnen
    I have almost 3 years of experience. I have worked in Pulmonary Intermediate Care, and now I am in the Mobile Unit Critical Care Cluster at my hospital. It is not my passion, though. I live for running marathons, reading about nutrition, etc! hahaha, I feel that my focus is sometimes astray from my job. Maybe I should change my job to be more inline with my focus
    Did you buy the books for you ACSM certification? I need to buy them and study. Where do you live?
    Okay, time for work...that's another thing...working all evenings and weekends has really burnt me out. I miss out on life. I seriously get depressed b/c I have been deprived of things that are so fundamental like spending time with family and friends, eating dinner with family or even eating dinner at all!
  8. by   HealthyRN
    I agree that nursing is not my passion either. It sounds like you have great experience under your belt. I live in Michigan.

    I did buy the books for the certification review. I bought ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription and ACSM's Certification Review. I found these texts to be sufficient. I spent about 6 months (on and off) studying for the test and the test was challenging.

    I was really stressed out when I was working nights and weekends too. Maybe a switch to days would be good for you?
  9. by   jer_sd
    would opening cardiac/vascular/pulmonay rehab be a good fit for you? This could allow you to use nursing skills and fitness conditioning. Referals could come from cardiology, pulmonary ect. It might take some effort to figgure out billling but might be worth looking into....Jeremy
  10. by   FLCRNA2B
    I work with an RN who works 1 day a week at the hospital and teaches 22 different fitness classes at different gyms throughout the week! What about opening a weight loss center that incorporates teaching a healthy diet, with a focus on fitness with different fitness classes? This seems to be very popular right now and being a nurse gives you credibility. Good luck!

    Entrepreneur RN
  11. by   volsfan
    There are several courses in prenatal/postnatal fitness education. You only need a nursing degree. Don't worry about not having worked with OB patients. It really won't give you the knowledge you need to provide classes to pregnant women - unless one goes into labor and delivers during class!

    Here's some places to look:

    The copper institue also has something, but I couldn't find it right now. They have moved some stuff around. But, there web link is:

    Hope this helps!
  12. by   gogatsby
    I know this topic is really old, but has anyone pursued anything that combines fitness and nursing? I'm new to nursing (three months in my first job!), but I would love to find a way to combine my two passions.
  13. by   MCM- FNP,RN,MSN,PHN
    hi! I found this thread also & am happy to see a recent post on it.

    Good info below re. which certifications are worthwhile (ACSM & ACE, it seems). I have spoken w/ ACSM - you can not get the top cert.(physiologist) from them w/o a degree in exercise science. I would argue that as a FNP, I have more ed & exp than those masters' degree holders, but this is a professional turf issue. --- I find it very difficult to translate nursing experience into other fields (I had looked at doing volunteer work for Red Cross in mentla health counseling post disasters, but RC would not allow it, even tho I had diagnosed and medically managed these pts. for years 0 in that case, the counselors & psychologists had the field advantage.).

    The next lowest ACSM cert is the specialist, but any BS/BA in an "allied health" field with exp. in fitness rehab can sit for that cert. exam. My experience is far above a BS -trained person.

    I would add that fitness "trainers" are paid very low, compared to a RN or NP. To use yer RN degree & make decent pay, commensurate w/ yer experience & ed., I think one has to start one's own business. That might work in some markets, but in my mid-sized city, the gyms have the fitness/training market, & they would not pay more for the RN/NP experience.

    I sure would like to see a franchised chain of RN-owned health & wellness centers! Wouldn't that be great?

    I may go for the cert. if only for my own health maintenance, but I do not expect it to pay off. If you dislike nursing , & I would completely understand why! -- I advise going for the MS in exercise science. See the degreedirectory website to explore the topic.

    Let me know if anyone has ideas re. how to parlay our skills into doing the work we love, which America so much needs!
  14. by   eastbayRN
    This post is in response to something Jeremy said...I am also an RN with a certification as a Personal Trainer. I love the healthy one-on-one with clients. Since graduating nursing school a year ago, I've begun to wonder if becoming a nurse was a mistake. You said something about cardiac rehab. How would a newer nurse get started in that direction?

    Thank you,