“Social Entrepreneurship” The True Spirit of Nursing

In the century since her death, the name of Florence Nightingale has become synonymous with kindness. But while recognizable to all, just who she was – and how influential her life’s work has been in the ensuing decades – is still shrouded in mystery.

She is an icon – for healthcare workers, professional women, social entrepreneurs, and those who struggle against the still-existing standards set by society over what is possible and attainable. But the life story of this indomitable woman is a richer, more revealing portrait of how one person’s determination can inspire millions – and leave a positive mark on the world for succeeding generations. Nightingale walked the path of an Entrepreneur – A Social Entrepreneur…

You’ve probably heard of the term “social entrepreneur” just now, – and was left confused as to what that could mean. What exactly is that role and what makes that person different from the usual one?

First, what is our basic idea of an entrepreneur? If we define an entrepreneur, he is an innovative person who seeks to answer a current demand on a product or service. Now, we bring in the word “social” to the mix and what difference does it make? Basically we define a social entrepreneur as still being an entrepreneur since he still earns an income and gains a profit by providing services or selling products. However, what makes one different though is that while the usual entrepreneur is driven by profit, a social entrepreneur is driven by social change.

He is someone who seeks to answer society’s social problems with his services or products. Though there is profit to be had, this is not the main driving goal of a social entrepreneur. What he seeks is to promote change and affect society through their products or services. That is what makes them different from the usual enterprising businessman. Businessmen build industries, social entrepreneurs try to build a better society.

It might sound noble and in fact, it is. There is something noble about an enterprising person who could have earned more just by going through the usual business path, but he instead decided to effect change by introducing innovative products and services. If entrepreneurs face hardships when starting their business, social entrepreneurs face double.

Most of the time, they introduce a product or service that is not what people are used to and what they wouldn’t even try. To be successful, a social businessman has to educate his target market and basically encourage them to change their view, lifestyle or habit – definitely not an easy task. . .

Florence Nightingale is one because she established the first nursing school and she did so in order to elevate the medical profession and improve patient care and hospital conditions. Though she might have earned enough from setting up a school, the change that she effected is still much bigger and more relevant than whatever business aspect her school had.

As you can see, the primary motive of social entrepreneurs is definitely to effect change. Profit is only second and in most cases, does not even figure at all. They are definitely what the world needs right now as we are plagued with poverty, climate change, corruption and other major problems.

Nurse-Social Entrepreneurs Addressing Poverty

A nurse social entrepreneur addressing poverty is somewhat a strange topic to talk about, especially in times like this where most nurses are unemployed. But there is no better time to talk about this than now. For it is in economic crisis where entrepreneurs thrive.

I tell you why in a second. . . . .

First! what is health anyway?

As we all know health is defined by World Health Organization as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-beingand not merely the absence of a disease or infirmity – Social well-being is defined as a state of affairs where the basic needs of the populace are met. This is a society where income levels are high enough to cover basic wants, where there is NO POVERTY, where unemployment is insignificant, where there is easy access to social, medical, and educational services, and where everyone is treated with dignity and consideration….

You may not know it but as health educators; – I think we’ve left out one important subject in our health teaching arsenal which is the “subject of money and how to prevent poverty”. Just look around and you’ll see proof of what I’m talking about.

Nurses are health educators may it be physical, mental, and “social.” We care responsibly for our clients wholistically, and by leaving the subject matter of money out – which greatly affects the social well-being of a person, as a nurse you are doing a great disservice to your client, to your country, to the world and yourself.

Money is a taboo subject for most people. But it has the power to influence every aspect of your life – even if you don’t acknowledge it. Money is used to develop a nation; or even destroy it. It buys you time; – and to say that money is not important, or to say that it is the root of all evil, or you don’t need it as long as your happy – is total irresponsibility.

Whenever I hear someone say those words I cringe and whisper to myself “If money is not important why still work for it?” No wonder why 32.9% of our country’s population is below poverty line and it keeps on growing annually. People have negative perception about money and so they never talked about it or even educate themselves in a very important subject that has the power to greatly affect their lives. Resulting in a disease called “poverty”. The good news is that poverty is a preventable disease.

As social entrepreneurs – and with the help of the people; we can prevent or even eradicate poverty by simply educating ourselves and others on the subject of how money works. We can’t just set this aside, and let the government take care of it, let’s also do something about it.

But you cannot give what you don’t have, so it is vitally important to educate yourself first before you can educate others. Ignorance of money and negative money operating system are the root cause of poverty, – and by educating yourself in this very important subject. You can change your life and the life of those around you.

We can succeed in preventing or even eradicate poverty by including the “subject of money” in our health education. Question!! but how are you going to do it if you don’t have enough income to even support yourself?

Imagine!- If you as a nurse, was to conduct a community service, home health care and health education, without even thinking of your salary. You do not ask for fees for your services, simply because its FREE and you’re not worrying where to get your funding,- for the funds keeps pouring in from your business or a pipeline that generates passive income for you even if you work or NOT… Think of the many people you could touch. Think of the many lives you would save, simply because you have FREE nursing services.

Imagine if 500 or thousands of nurses are doing the same thing. That would be the “True Spirit of Nursing” and that is how unemployed nurses should do. 1.)Build a business 2.)and use the cashflow from your business to help others. . .

Yours in Freedom,
Ericson Cudiamat


© 2011, Filipino Nurses. All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: The accuracy of all articles contained in this website are the responsibility of their respective authors. All articles are for informational purposes only and are NOT intended to replace the advice of a doctor. The owner of this site disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on these information. If you have any health-related questions, please consult your physician. If you feel ill, please seek medical attention immediately.

Other posts you may be interested in:

About Filipino Nurses Community 216 Articles
This article was submitted by the Filipino Nurses community. All articles are views of their respective authors and not necessarily of Filipino Nurses'. All commentaries, letters or opinions submitted by the Filipino Nurses community are presented here unedited, except for formatting and minor typographical corrections.