I wholeheartedly love taking care of my patients and love supporting my fellow nurses in the trenches. It's always been a "you-hold-the-***-cheek-and-I'll-wipe" kind of friendship.
But I'm also a closeted personal finance weirdo and love things like finding ways to creating passive income streams, investing in start-up companies, obsessively studying financial independence blogs for ways to increase my earnings so I can retire early, etc.
And as a former business owner (in my life before nursing!) and as an active investor & financial independence geek, one thing I can't help but notice is that, we, nurses, don't exactly do a great job of taking care of ourselves financially...and it's been driving me absolutely crazy... we deserve better!
It goes without saying that we often sacrifice our physical and mental well-being with grueling shifts and insane amounts of stress, but this whole "not taking great care of ourselves" thing goes waaaaaay deeper, and also includes not prioritizing our financial health...
Which is complete BS, because we work our tushes off and should have something to show for it at the end of the day, end of the year, and end of our careers.
But I have talked to so many nurses and nurse practitioners nearing retirement and they are terrified that they'll be working right up until the grave, because they just haven't figured out how to create the financial security they could have from this awesome profession.
For example, we nurses often completely ignore things like:
Having a plan in place to ensure we are debt-free ASAP
Building a bulletproof safety net of savings
Maximizing the heck out of our current income levels
Creating passive income streams, so we're never in financial trouble should we lose our job or get downsized, and
Ensuring our investments and retirement funds are working as hard for us, as we do for our patients.
And so much more...
So a few weeks ago, out of weirdo curiosity, I ran a survey of nurses' financial health on my own Facebook page, just to check in and see how we're doing.
The results were eye-opening... Among other interesting tidbits, I learned that, of the 55 nurses surveyed in total, 96% answered "YES" to the question, "Would you like to leverage your existing skill set to earn more money?"
In essence, that means a very statistically significant percentage of nurses answered "YES" to the question, "Would you like to not have to go back to school for a few more years, not have to take out more student loans, not have to plunge another $35-60K in debt to be able to squeeze every bit of earning potential out of the knowledge and skill set you possess right now?"
I took this resounding YES to heart.
As a reaction to the powerful response to that question, I embarked on a deep-dive research mission to discover all the ways in which we nurses (and this includes ALL nurses: LPNs, RNs, NPs, CRNAs, CNS', Nurse Educators, etc.) can leverage our existing knowledge base as patient advocates and existing skill set as health educators to earn more money right now, without the often dealing-breakingly enormous barriers that going back for another degree or post-graduate certification presents. (Trust me, I've paid over $80K in school loans in total over the course of my career! It's unbelievable.)
So after weeks of research and evaluation of the effectiveness and ease of implementing different options for nurses to earn more money (improving your resume and salary negotiation skills, obtaining more certifications, changing jobs or changing cities, travel nursing, going per diem or locums tenens and killing yourself with OT, etc.) with the comparatively little increase in actual earnings that those strategies provided, it became ridiculously apparent to me that Health Coaching provided the single greatest opportunity for nurses of all specialties and educational levels to apply the knowledge and skills we already possess right now to earn a significant side income with a relatively small investment of time, energy and resources, compared to the awesome results and outcomes we can experience with Health Coaching.
A light-bulb went off!
It hit me square in the face, that by sharing these findings, I could accomplish some serious awesomeness.
Firstly, I could make sure that instead of us hurriedly prescribing or passing pills to slap bandaids on patients' health issues, maybe, just maybe, we could also spend time working with patients to address some of the actual causes of disease: poor health habits, poor food choices, lack of nutritional knowledge, sedentarism, insane amounts of unchecked stress, lack of sleep, and the list goes on.
How great would it be to actually have time to do that??? Cuz right now, let's be real... we absolutely, positively don't...
Secondly, by connecting the nurses and NPs I love with other nurses and NPs who are currently successful health coaches, I could provide my friends and colleagues an exact step-by-step "so-easy-a-caveman-could-do-it" blueprint of how to leverage our current knowledge & skill sets to generate a great side income and begin taking much better care of your patients' health and, yourselves financially.
The 100% turnkey coaching system they use and the dead-simple curricula they teach from effectively removes the whole, "But I don't know how to be a Health Coach or grow my business" problem...
Thirdly, if you haven't picked up on it yet, there's an awesome behavioral psychology thing at work here...
If you become a Health Coach for patients, guess what else you've got to get on board doing??
Bingo! You've got to "get your own house in order" as it were, and begin taking better care of yourself, physically and mentally too!
Score again! Cuz on the whole, we really suck at self-care. Just sayin'...
Optional certification is even available through their partnership with Villanova University's College of Nursing.
Even though I already work full-time hours as an FNP, I know my patients will experience real, tangible benefits, if I am able to spend quality time with them (outside of the paltry 15-30 minutes we get allotted by Medicare et al, for patient visits), providing meaningful support to them in their health objectives.
Anna Morrison, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC