Read on to learn how these Australian Nurse Entrepreneurs used their nursing skills, knowledge, and education to build and innovate successful startups, side hustles and businesses. Nurses innovate every day by improving processes and services directly related to patient care. One of the keys to starting your own business and turning it into a successful enterprise is to play to your strengths. But most importantly you need to have passion and a vision.

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Nurse Entrepreneurs

Manticore Entertainment – By Matt Armstrong

It’s a boutique game company, I’ve designed one tabletop board game so far and published it on a small scale (less than 700 copies) 

Read our interview with Matt here as a PACER nurse

Where did the idea come from?

The game I designed was Voyage Home: An Odyssey.  It’s based on one of my favourite stories, Homer’s Odyssey. This is essentially the story of Odysseus’ life following the infamous battle of troy where he came up with the Wooden Horse ruse. 

Needle Calm – By Lauren Barber

NeedleCalm is a medical device company. We currently have one product which is registered in Australia and New Zealand as a Class 1 medical device to assist in alleviating the discomfort associated with needle procedures.  Since officially launching our product in 2021 we have developed a patient directory and resources to assist clinicians and patients and are planning to launch the next 3 products at the end of 2022. 

Where did the idea come from?

Unfortunately, I sustained a needle-stick injury whilst assisting with a procedure. During recovery from my surgery I started to do some more research about needle-phobia and current practices so NeedleCalm evolved during that time. 

Bundle of Rays – By Brad Chesham

The Bundle of Rays platform immerses health professionals in an educational experience through the implementation of VR and AR. The business model initially focused on delivering face to face healthcare training and this evolved through the combination of a nursing background and experience of VR with a vision to create a readily scalable learning platform that can be used to improve both training and patient care.

Read our interview with Brad here about nursing in Iraq

Where did the idea come from?

I worked in London, UK for just under 10yrs and we regularly visited Art galleries. At the galleries, design and innovation were always discussed. Accompany this with friends playing VR games, it was a natural curiosity because of our social circle to use and explore VR. Once you put on a headset, you immediately get a sense of awe. People have a clear, wow moment. That moment for me lingered. I just could not believe that I could walk over to a heart, stand inside it, pull it apart, label it and then a friend from the other side of the world, could jump in and be standing next to me, whilst I was doing all this. It still blows my mind.

Sunny Street – By Sonia Martin

Powered by a passion to increase connectivity and decrease stigma around homelessness, Sonia
Martin had a vision to step up and tackle homelessness head on, providing access to quality
healthcare for thousands of vulnerable Australians. In 2018, Sonia had a dream to take healthcare to
the streets. Sonia sat with people on the streets who had been disengaged from healthcare for up to
30 years, listening to their stories and their worries. She was struck by the loneliness of people
sleeping rough and doing it tough. Alongside her business partner, she decided to begin to change
the lives of thousands of Australians by setting up a simple nursing kit, writing up policies and
procedures for a service named Sunny Street, and started providing healthcare from the back of a
car boot. Today Sunny Street is an award winning health service.

uPaged – By Zara Lord

uPaged is a Healthcare Workforce Ecosystem connecting healthcare professionals to the opportunities they want, when they want them, in a more cost efficient, transparent, and informed manner than via traditional recruitment agencies. uPaged is the future of work for nurses.

Where did the idea come from?

The idea for uPaged came from my experience working in a busy intensive care unit, and receiving agency nurses that I knew nothing about, and trying to allocate them safely to patients. It wasn’t uncommon to receive an aged care nurse who had never set foot in a hospital before. That would have been acceptable if we knew in advance, but sometimes a starry eyed nurse would arrive, and when I asked if they could manage an arterial line, would respond with “I’ve never worked in a hospital before”. Not only was this nurse terrified, but we’d have to reshuffle all of our workloads to ensure the nurse got the support they needed and the patients got safe care. I knew technology could do it better… and so started conceptualising uPaged. 

Paeds Education – By Grace Larson & Sarah Duncanson

We provide health-related education and training to people who care for children. This includes first aid for parents, to in-services and workshops for nurses.

Read our interview with Sarah about PICU nursing

Where did the idea come from?

When we were delivering Paediatric Advanced Life Support with the ACCCN to different regional and rural places in Victoria we were often asked to come back and give more training on paediatric specific conditions or illnesses. So we decided to start up our own business to meet that need. Then during the pandemic we saw how much parents and carers really needed that support to learn how to manage common childhood accidents and illnesses. So we branched out to providing first aid training in that space also. 

Aussie Nurse Educator – By Rory Tanner

The Aussie Nurse Educator is the personal brand of Rory, an Anaesthetic Clinical Nurse Specialist and Educator hosting educational blogs, downloads, coaching, courses and a newsletter.

Read out interview about Perioperative Nursing here

Where did the idea come from?

The idea came from my creative thinking during late 2020 and a couple of conversations with my fiance and then my wife before deciding to start the journey during our honeymoon early in 2021.

Eva Storey Coaching – By Eva Storey

I run my own coaching Business Eva Storey Coaching which offers coaching support to nurses
who may be struggling with stress, overwhelm and burnout. I also support Nurses who are new
to a leadership role by helping them gain confidence and build their self-care toolbox through

Where did the idea come from?

The idea came from my personal experience of being in a senior leadership role that I loved, which was then abolished in financial restructuring. This experience literally turned my world as I knew it upside down. I loved being a nurse and loved being a leader and developing leadership skills in others. I had a very strong work ethic and had never been in the situation of losing a job through re-deployment. I really struggled with the redeployment process and I realised that the support for nurses undergoing similar changes to their roles was very much absent if non-
existent in the workplace. This was where the seed of inspiration came from to start my own coaching business to help other nurses.

Harry Helper & Parentmedic – By Nataly Tormey

Partnerships with parents in the community overcome the existing gap for ‘all’ parents to access education about what to do if their child is sick, injured or unwell. This health initiative is provisioned through a network of social enterprises supported by a social franchise framework. They are a social enterprise that provides baby first aid on a mission to ensure all parents know what to do.

Where did the idea come from?

I am a natural problem solver and designer and thrive in solving complex problems at a systemic level and saw that enterprise development is a way to do this. I thrive on ideation, human centred design and empathy-led products and services and using this to improve how we improve health outcomes. I am really excited to now be in a position of my life to be invited to continue my own work, and support the enterprises I founded but also supporting others now. 

KT Skin Rejuvenation – By Debora Webster-Bain

Debora has been nursing for 48 years and was endorsed as a critical care Emergency Department nurse practitioner in 2007 and I worked for over 12 years as an ED Nurse Practitioner (NP) until 2015.

Read our article about her career in Emergency and Aesthetics

Where did the idea come from?

She switched to a private practice Nurse practitioner (aesthetic and skin cancer checks) in 2016 creating KT Skin Rejuvenation, after her only child was killed in road trauma, as she could no longer cope with working in an ED /hospital environment. Debora found a new passion that married her nursing and medical expertise with her love of helping people to feel better and so KT Skin Rejuvenation was born.

The Wound Guy – By Gary and Catherine Bain

An education and clinical resource entity focusing on the delivery of wound management. Clientele include health provider institutions and professional groups derived from nurses, allied health, podiatry, pharmacy and medical officers. Gary Bain is a clinical nurse consultant with 35 years of experience in wound management. Catherine Bain is a senior practice nurse with extensive experience providing wound care within this domain.

Where did the idea come from?

Gary had for many years provided lectures, presentations and clinical guidance for health care employers and members of the wound care product industry. This was done with the backdrop of already being a full-time employee, where these services above were very much an adjunct to regular working hours. As the business landscape evolved, Gary had to set up a business name and obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) in order to be reimbursed for the activities above. This led to the creation of The Wound Guy as a registered business. 

Liam Caswell Coaching – By Liam Caswell

A comprehensive career and leadership coaching practice for clinicians to thrive in their personal and professional life.  I am also the proud owner of the “High Performance Nursing” Podcast on all major podcasting platforms. 

Read our interview with Liam about nurse leadership and culture

Where did the idea come from?

The idea was born out of first-hand experience of being a senior clinical leader and receiving little to no support/mentorship or coaching to help me juggle my workload, expectations and challenges. At the time, I sought out coaching and couldn’t find a clinical career/leadership coach and ended up working with a non-clinical career coach. I immediately benefited from the experience of receiving transformational coaching and I knew that this needed to be offered to healthcare workers globally. And so Liam Caswell Coaching was born. 

Pritchard Health – By Sian Pritchard

A Nurse Practitioner led mental health and addiction clinic in primary care offering clinic services and outreach into schools. Provides psychotherapy, medication reviews and diagnostic assessments to all ages over 12 who may experience psychological distress and/or addiction concerns.

Where did the idea come from?

There was a clear gap in primary care where specialist mental health services that incorporated the ability to provide medication reviews and assessments was not available. With a shortage of Psychiatrists, and many GPs not feeling confident in this specialist area of healthcare, there was a clear gap in primary care for specialist mental health services that could incorporate medication reviews and diagnostic assessments.

Travel Health Practitioner – By Catherine Keil

Travel Health Practitioner – A Nurse Practitioner led service focusing on travel medicine and Immunisations.

Where did the idea come from?

My love of travel and keeping people well! I have worked in this area for 25 years and felt I could provide an excellent service.

Earworx – By Lisa Hellwege 

Earworx is a dedicated professional earwax removal service. Qualified and specially trained registered nurses use dry and effective micro-suction technology under direct observation to gently and safely remove excess earwax. We started the business in 2016 in Hobart and now own and operate more than 20 clinics across 6 States and Territories of Australia.

Where did the idea come from?

I worked with some fabulous ENT’s in the ENT Outpatients Clinic at the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) for a number of years and saw the micro suction procedure performed. With the encouragement of these colleagues and of my fiancée’ I decided to explore the idea of my own dedicated professional earwax removal clinic.

Click Clinic – By Adam McCavery

An online medical practice ran by me as a nurse practitioner (NP). I do medical certificates, repeat prescriptions and some telehealth consults.

Where did the idea come from?

I started the business more than 6 years ago because I got really frustrated with how inaccessible healthcare is. I was seeing patients in my clinic (oncology) in the hospital who had ran out of painkillers because they couldn’t get into a GP and it just upset me. Then I did a bit of extra work doing evenings and weekends as an NP in a primary care clinic and it just made me angry that out of 80 patients a day per  GP/NP, maybe 20 of them would be medical certificates because the patient had a simple illness and took a day off work and probably another 10-15 would be people who needed a repeat on a prescription they’d been stable on for a long time. And every one of these patients would be up to $80 out of pocket. So I set up Click Clinic to make healthcare accessible and affordable.

IKIT First Aid – Leona Martin

IKIT FIRST AID –  first aid training and manual handling business. The business I started up is a first aid training and manual handling business.  I have also added to my scope within my training also to deliver a medication course.  All the courses I deliver are Nationally recognised courses.  My husband a paramedic, also runs his own first aid training business. 

Where did the idea come from?

When I met him, I was already a Trainer and Assessor, but worked full time for The Department of Health, so whilst I had taught first aid in the past, I hadn’t for some time. I began to help him on occasion when he was busy, and then thought, hey, I can actually also do this myself, and hence my business began.

fwards – By Athol Hann

Fwards is charging head-on at the problems facing frontline nursing teams with education, coaching, support and mobile technology to reduce burnout and improve team cohesion and culture to improve the delivery of patient care every shift.

Where did the idea come from?

A nasty experience of burnout was the start of a journey that led me on a searching mission to find out how I went from a world-leading ICU back to dairy farming. Fortunately, I found a way out of the complete loss of direction, fatigue, disengagement, and detachment to turn this difficult time into a mission to help others avoid the nasty effects of burnout and reduce its impact on other health professionals.

Good Wound Care – By Donna Nair

Good Wound Care is a mobile Wound and Lymphoedema consultancy service that operates across Geelong and Ballarat, including Telehealth to the rest of Victoria. Good Wound Care takes referrals from health professionals and self-referrals for complex and hard to heal wounds, with and without chronic oedemas. We often work in spaces where there is already a team of medical, nursing and allied clinicians involved, or where clients are entirely self-caring and need support to continue.

Where did the idea come from?

I had been approached on numerous occasions to do pro-bono work which I have always enjoyed. Over many years I have also found a growing gap in the community, disability, private and aged care sectors for my skill set. So the idea really came from a marriage of these 2 evolutions and the nagging thought “what-if”…, and then “why not”.  

Gennarosity Abroad – By Genevieve Onuchukwu

Gennarosity Abroad is a non-profit organisation focused on improving living standards of future generations in Kenya through education and providing health services to those living in remote and disadvantaged communities.

Where did the idea come from?

The idea came from originally volunteering in Kenya after completing High School in 2009. I used to watch World Vision and Oxfam ads on the television as a child and wondered why someone children the same age as me lived in poverty compared to the privileged life I was raised with.

During my time volunteering I became friendly with the locals and gained a lot of insight into the daily struggles they endured. I wanted to do whatever I could to help. With some funds I was able to organise the local kindergarten to be rebuilt. During this time I realised this what I wanted to do and decided I’d start up Gennarosity Abroad.