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Nurses put the ‘RN’ in entrepreneur

On Tuesday at Northeastern, three innovative nurses shared how they’ve melded their medical training and entrepreneurial spirit to provide healthcare professionals and patients with enhanced healthcare services.

About 125 people, many of them nursing students and alumni, attended the event, which was held in the Raytheon Amphitheater and titled “EntrepReNeurs: Opportunities for Innovative Nurses.” The event was presented by the Health Sciences Entrepreneurs program, which was created to introduce entrepreneurial business opportunities in the health sciences to Northeastern students, alumni, and faculty.

“These are nurses who took alternative paths to some of the ones we think about regularly and started their own businesses,” said Bouvé College of Health Sciences Dean Terry Fulmer.

Here is a closer look at these nurses’ journeys and their entrepreneurship advice to nursing students:

Tiffany Kelley, MS/MBA’08
A nurse of more than 14 years, Kelley is the founder and CEO of Nightingale Apps, a health information technology company focused on offering mobile applications aimed at improving safety and increasing efficiency for nurses delivering direct patient care in hospital settings. She is developing the company’s initial product—Know My Patient—that will provide better clinical information service to nurses providing acute care. Know My Patient is on the verge of completing the prototype phase and Kelley has worked with IDEA, Northeastern’s student-run venture accelerator, to develop her software. She’s also participated in the university’s New Venture Bootcamp for alumni.

When moving forward with an entrepreneurial idea, Kelley said it is very important to surround yourself with people you trust. “I think you really have to rely on people that you trust and who have gone through it before in some capacity, especially at the early stages,” she said.

Tina Rose
A board certified women’s health nurse practitioner who worked in an OB/GYN private practice for about 19 years, Rose co-founded Just Us Women Health Center in 2011 after she lost her job. The health center, based in Attleboro, Massachusetts, offers a range of healthcare services for women.

When asked how she balances her role as a businesswoman with her role as a healthcare provider, Rose explained that she leans heavily on her nursing skills: “I have lots of training and experience being a nurse. I had no training in business,” she said. “It’s a work in progress. I am a nurse entrepreneur. I always tell people never to take nurse out of my title because first and foremost I’m a nurse.”

Bob Gauvin
Gauvin is a certified registered nurse anesthetist and president and owner of Anesthesia PROfessionals, Inc., a group practice that provides a full range of anesthesia services to hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, office practices, and other healthcare providers.

“You cannot be afraid as an entrepreneur to make a mistake,” he said. “You just have to learn from those mistakes and not make them again.”

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