Academic journal article Education Research International

Entrepreneurship Education in Health Care Education

Academic journal article Education Research International

Entrepreneurship Education in Health Care Education

Article excerpt

L. Salminen 1 and E. Lindberg 1 and M.-L. Gustafsson 1 and J. Heinonen 2 and H. Leino-Kilpi 3

Academic Editor:Yi-Shun Wang

1, Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Lemminkäisenkatu 1, 20014 Turku, Finland 2, Turku School of Economics, TSE Entre, University of Turku, Finland 3, Department of Nursing Science, Hospital District of South-West Finland, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

Received 28 May 2014; Revised 13 October 2014; Accepted 20 October 2014; 11 November 2014

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. Introduction

Entrepreneurship in the health care sector is not a new phenomenon. Already before World War II, many nurses worked as entrepreneurs. After the war, nurses began to work in public services in many countries due to social and economic changes. Approximately 1% of all nurses work as entrepreneurs [1]. A nurse is defined as an entrepreneur if he or she offers different nursing services in private-sector markets: care, education, research, and administrative work [1-3]. Social, political, and economic factors such as an economic crisis, the dissatisfaction of nurses with their work, and changes in the health needs of the population and consumers have caused more nurses to become entrepreneurs during the last decades [1, 2, 4]. The development, scope of practise, and regulation of nurse entrepreneurs will also depend on economic infrastructure and policies implemented at the national, regional, and local levels [1, 5]. The notion of entrepreneurship is not relevant for clinical nurses only; it is relevant for any nurses who are in managerial positions and need to understand changes in the organizational process.

During times of economic uncertainty, knowledge about entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills can be exploited when health care staff needs to figure out how to do more with fewer resources [4]. Some studies indicate that a lack of competence in entrepreneurship is a major barrier for nurses who want to become entrepreneurs [6-8]. Nurse entrepreneurs claim that when their education is based on the traditional forms of nursing, it does not provide them with enough knowledge about entrepreneurship or establishing and running a company [7-9]. Therefore, a critical discussion about the role of education in enhancing entrepreneurship among nurses is needed. This study addresses the issue by describing entrepreneurship education in six different Finnish polytechnics. Based on a survey conducted among teachers in the health care field, we focus on the scope and nature of entrepreneurship education as well as on the methods that teachers use when addressing the issue of entrepreneurship.

2. Background

Entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly important within the health care sector as societal changes give space for new entrepreneurs in the field [1, 4, 10]. However, quite a little research has been done on entrepreneurship in the health care sector and particularly on enterprise education in nursing education. Previous studies have identified a number of obstacles that may hinder nurses from becoming entrepreneurs, such as a lack of business competence and skills, economic obstacles (e.g., business cycles), and a lack of support from their colleagues and society in general [6-8]. In addition, entrepreneurship in the health care sector is also dependent on the politics related to public health care services, for example, social enterprises [5, 11]. Some studies indicate that a lack of competence in entrepreneurship is a major barrier for nurses who want to become entrepreneurs [1, 6-8]. Nurse entrepreneurs claim that when their education is based on the traditional forms of nursing, it does not provide them with enough knowledge about entrepreneurship or establishing and running a company [7-9]. …

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