Abstract

In Canada, as well as internationally, efficiency-focused organizational restructuring in healthcare has resulted in stressful job change for nurses, although nurses continue to work in a system that values technology-based, physician-provided services. Employed nurses have had to participate in organizational activities that undermine their professional values and goals. Nursing entrepreneurship presents an opportunity to explore nursing's professional potential in nursing practice that is uniquely independent. In this study, a focused ethnographic approach was used to explore the experiences of self-employed nurses, who see themselves as leaders in advancing the profession of nursing and its contribution to healthcare. Key themes in the findings include the responses of self-employed nurses to health system change, expanded roles for nurses, the consequences of this non-traditional approach to nursing work and the possibilities for change that arise from nursing entrepreneurship. This research has implications for healthcare policy, professional advocacy and nursing education.