Tina M. Baxter is an advanced practice registered nurse and a board certified gerontological nurse practitioner through the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC), who resides in Anderson, Indiana.
Mrs. Baxter has been a registered nurse for over twenty years and a nurse practitioner for 14 years. She is the owner of Baxter Professional Services, LLC, a consulting firm which provides legal nurse consulting services for attorneys and insurance professionals; wellness and chronic disease management coaching; and customized educational and operational resources to healthcare organizations. She provides a weekly Facebook live program on business and health topics.
Mrs. Baxter teaches stress management strategies to clients of all ages and offers virtual as well as online classes. She is listed as best lessons for 2019 and 2020 from Lessons.com. She is the founder of The Nurse Shark Academy where she coaches nurses to launch and scale their businesses. She is a certified small business and benefits solutions advisor with LegalShield Business Solutions.
She is a public speaker and have spoken on numerous topics on national level. She is contributor to articles on electronic and print media such as Entrepreneur.com, The Minority Nurse, LinkedIN, as well a guest on numerous podcasts. She is currently working at Adult and Child Health in Indianapolis, focusing on the mental health needs of adults and geriatric patients.
She is a previous owner of HIS Solutions Healthcare, LLC which provided a community Certified Nursing Assistant course, Home Health Aide training course, and a Qualified Medication Aide training for which she served as the program director and chief operating officer. She was employed at American Health Network in Muncie, Indiana as a nurse practitioner where she served six different skilled care and assisted living facilities.
Mrs. Baxter serves on several boards and community organizations such as the Meals on Wheels of Hancock County, the Anderson Black and Minority Chamber of Commerce, the Black Nurses Association of Anderson, and the Concerned Ministers of Anderson. She is also a member of the American Nurses’ Association, the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (geropsych sig member), the Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses of Indiana, the National Nurses in Business Association, and the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.
She is a mentor with the Pass the Torch Foundation and completed the inaugural class of Advancing Indy Women with IUPUI and the Kelley School of Business in conjunction with Linking Indy Women. Mrs. Baxter is an evangelist and pastor at Church Upon the Rock Missionary Baptist Church in Anderson, IN where she serves as Director of Outreach, church nurse, choir member and on the pastoral staff. Mrs. Baxter has a Master of Nursing in Nursing Education and a post-master’s as a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner from the University of Indianapolis (Indianapolis Indiana).
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Taylor University (Upland, IN) and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Anderson University (Anderson, IN). Mrs. Baxter has taught on both the undergraduate and graduate level in nursing and she continues to mentor nursing and nurse practitioner students during their clinical rotations.
Mrs. Baxter has presented for PESI, a continuing education company, in the areas of “Challenging patient behaviors”, “Fall Prevention Challenges”, and “Unintentional Weight Loss in the Elderly”. She has presented other topics in the past at conferences and symposiums, “Older Adult Addictions and Intervention Strategies” (poster presentation), “The Role of the NP/PA when the patient is receiving Opioid Medications” (CME presentation), and “Women and Alcohol: Their Experience with Addiction Across the Lifespan” (original research).
What You’ll Learn in This Episode
- What are some of the best side gigs for nurses?
- Nurses opening their own businesses due to burnout from the pandemic
- The top three business questions you get as a business coach for nurses
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for High Velocity Radio.
Stone Payton: Welcome to the High Velocity Radio show, where we celebrate top performers producing better results in less time. Stone Payton here with you. Please join me in welcoming to the podcast with Baxter Professional Services, The lady herself, Tina Baxter. How are you?
Tina Baxter: I’m doing well, thank you for having me.
Stone Payton: Well, it is my pleasure. I have really been looking forward to this conversation. Let’s start, if we could, with Mission Purpose. What are you what are you out there trying to do for folks? Tina.
Tina Baxter: My whole mission is to have people to be better off for having met me. And that’s just the core of it. We we want to provide you with excellent service and everything that we do, but we want to make your life better so that you can get what you need and what you want.
Stone Payton: And you’re working with nurses who are looking for a side gig or a new job since leaving the the bedside. Tell us a little bit more about that work and and and that group that you have decided to serve.
Tina Baxter: Yes. So I work with nurses who are interested in starting their own business, whether it’s starting a home care agency. Maybe you want to start a C, seeing a training school, Perhaps you want to do what I do as a legal nurse consultant, or maybe you just want to have a taco stand, right? So I start you at the very beginning. There are a lot of great coaches that help you once you’re already in business, but what about the people that are just starting up? And that’s who I like to serve are the nurses that are just starting out and just need a little bit of guidance.
Stone Payton: So what are some of the the questions that that these folks have when they first get in conversation in relationship with you? What are some of the gaps that you’re trying to help them close?
Tina Baxter: One of the things is they ask me questions like, should I get an LLC and how do I get an LLC? What’s the difference between having a partnership or an S corp? They’ll may ask me, Well, what about a business plan? Do I really need to have one? And my answer is yes, because if you don’t have a plan for your business, then it’s going to be so easy for you to get pulled off in different directions and you need to have that focus. And so we look at the business plan from a practical standpoint as a roadmap for your business, and that’s how we use it.
Stone Payton: So I got to know, Tina, the back story, how did you find yourself doing this kind of work?
Tina Baxter: I like to call myself an accidental on purpose entrepreneur. I didn’t start out wanting to own a business. I started out as a side hustler, too. So as a nursing student, I taught CPR classes on the side just to make extra cash. I never would have thought of turning that into a business. And so in the middle of a time when I was in between jobs and I was looking for my next job as a nurse practitioner, I had a friend, a group of friends who were wanting to open up a business, and I said, Well, I really just wanted to leave some space that was quiet, that maybe I could work on a book or something. And she’s like, No, no, I need you to come help me start this business. And that’s how I got started and business, and it kind of stuck. You know, I really love the idea of building something from scratch. And each time I’ve had a chance to offer a new service line or to grow the business, it just gives me a charge. And I realized I had a more entrepreneurial mindset than I thought I did. And that’s what led me to to start my next business. Baxter Professional Services. And from there, because nurses were coming to me and DMing me and sending me emails, Hey, how do I do this? Or get calling me? How do I do that? That’s how the Shark Academy got launched. I was in a online challenge where, you know, you get some content and you participate in these challenges online. And the person that was running the challenge challenged us to start a challenge within three weeks of the course that we took. So I took him up on his challenge and launched the Nurse Shark Academy. Within three weeks, I had my first challenge.
Stone Payton: Oh, my gracious. All right, so the Nurse Shark Academy say a little bit more about that, the structure, the purpose and things that are that are happening within that.
Tina Baxter: So there’s a couple of ways you can work with me. You can work with me one on one. I have some clients that really want that one on one time and they’re willing to put in the resources to do that. Or you can take the coaching program, the formal coaching program, which is six sessions to get you started and launching your business. And that’s a group work and we get together and we kind of mastermind this and work with you. And then there are those that are just wanting help in one particular thing. So they may take one course like the legal nurse consulting basic course. And so that’s how it’s kind of structured. And with the Nurse Shark Academy, some of the other things that I’m doing is really trying to foster community so that we can support one another in business.
Stone Payton: So what are you finding the most rewarding at this point? What are you enjoying the most about the work?
Tina Baxter: I like seeing other people win, and that came from my educator background as a nurse educator. When we had our first CNA training school. I like seeing the students finally get it and go on. And so we’ve had students that went through our senior program or our AMA program, our medication aid program, and they’ve gone on to become physician assistants, nursing home administrators, registered nurses, Lpns one is even in medical school. And so for me that that gives me joy to see someone, you know, get that first step into health care and then find their path. I had one student in one of our programs and she hadn’t graduated from high school, so she never had a chance to walk across the stage and receive any certificate, diploma or anything. But in our program we have a formal ceremony at that time and you would walk across the stage and get your completion certificate. And for her to have all her family there to cheer her on. It just it just, you know, fill my heart up with love.
Stone Payton: So the the principles, the lessons, the disciplines that you’re teaching, did some of these come from a little bit of scar tissue, like maybe where you fell and skinned your knee a little bit on this journey?
Tina Baxter: I would say definitely, yes. As a as a nurse, you know, we aren’t taught anything about business, really. Our business is taking care of patients. And so some of the things that happened in our first business were great lessons for me. One of the things I had to learn how to do was self promotion. As nurses. That’s not something that we normally do. But I recognize that if I don’t talk about the business and let you know how we can help you, that I’m doing you a disservice. So I come from a background of wanting to serve, and so I had to reframe that in my mind. The second thing I realized is that marketing is important and you have to do it. You know the old adage, you know, if you build it, they will come. Yeah, that only works in the movies. So you need to put the effort in there. And so I’ve learned these things going on and I’ve been in business for, gosh, like 15 years. And having seen the ups and downs of business and how to weather some of those things has been really helpful for me.
Stone Payton: So let’s talk about promoting the whole sales and marketing thing. How does that work for for I was going to say a business, but you’ve got businesses. How does that work for a person like you that has so many irons in the fire, so many things going? How do you get the new business?
Tina Baxter: One my my best is referrals. Honestly, it’s just talking to people and you’ll be surprised at how many people are out there that really want to help you and give you business. And so I’ll attend networking groups and I’ll go out and meet people. And it’s kind of funny. Locally, people are like, You’re everywhere. I have people that watch me online on my social media and they’re like, I saw your post and I’m like, Wait, which post was that? So it’s opening up yourself to have a larger influence. So now I have people that I talk to from all over the world. And for me, that’s, that’s great. And, and then the other thing is just I like to say, you know, doing the road work is how I put it in the program where you’re going out to the community events and you’re being present at things that are happening, you’re showing up and that is really critical with your marketing. No matter if it’s online or in person, you have to show up and that puts you ahead of the game. For so many people who don’t want to take that time to do that.
Stone Payton: So have you. It sounds like the answer to this is yes, but I’m going to ask anyway, and maybe you can expand on a little bit. I wanted to ask, have you had the benefit of one or more mentors that have helped you sort of navigate this this business arena?
Tina Baxter: Yes, definitely. I would have to say one of my very first mentors was a business coach that I hired. His name is Jerry Foster, and I hired him to help me with branding for the Baxter Professional Services business with the Legal Nurse Consulting, because I felt like I wasn’t getting my message out and message across and I really needed to focus on on that part of the business. And so it was wonderful working with him. He’s been such a great help to me. In fact, because of that, I’ve been you know, he’s referred business to me. I’ve referred business to him. I’ve been able to be a part of his mastermind. And then I’ve had another wonderful coach for the legal nurse consulting side, and that’s Lori Brown, who happens to be a nurse and an attorney. And I have to say, having worked with her, my business has grown tremendously. So here is my philosophy. If you have a business coach and they are coachable and they are willing to work and have their own coach, then you have the role coach. And so I think all of us can go higher and do more, and we need that circle of support.
Tina Baxter: Another big mentor for me, starting out as a brand new nurse or two nurses that I still love and work with, and they are retired now, but they at the hospital provided opportunities for me. They brought me alongside them. One was a nurse supervisor at the hospital and she made sure that she put me in a position to where I could learn as a nurse tac how to do certain procedures and things like that. So she made sure she did that. I had another one that showed me how to be a leader and leadership in church nursing. And so she helped me to be instrumental in the churches and really gave me my first leadership position as a nurse, as being the coordinator for these nurse health stations, where we would go into the churches and take blood pressures and educate the members on their health conditions and things like that and train volunteers to work in the church. So I love those ladies. They were great mentors to me. So I’ve had some wonderful people that poured into me and that that makes me want to pour into others.
Stone Payton: You have so many irons in the fire, as my daddy would say, You must be incredibly organized and or be really good at delegation. How do you keep it all together?
Tina Baxter: Well, I’m going to say this Nurses know the art of delegation because that’s what we do. You have to do the appropriate delegation. So I hired an assistant to help me. When I realized I’m drowning, I said, I need an assistant to help me get things organized and make phone calls when I can’t and do the things that need to be done. But I just don’t have the time to do. And then the other thing is I’m very good at blocking my time. So when I’m working in the clinic, I’m doing the clinic stuff. If I’m working on my business, I’m doing the business stuff. And this is a shift that I made as of last week and doing that because I was putting things in there like block for times that I didn’t want appointment schedule and all this kind of stuff, but it felt so negative to put BLOCK there. So I changed it. And I call that now my glorious purpose time. And every time I see that, it gives me a smile and a lift. Now my glorious purpose time might be time for me to read some personal development book, or maybe I’m working on a project and I need to really focus on that project. Or maybe I’m just going to watch a movie with my husband. But I call it my glorious purpose time because that’s my time that I blocked out. For me.
Stone Payton: One of the reasons that I love doing this show and there are a lot is I learned so much right now as we speak. I will confess to you on my Google calendar between two and five today, as a matter of fact is in my color is blue. That’s the color I see. And it is labeled black. I am going to change. I’m going to change that. I’m going to I’m going to come up with my own inspirational title for that. Guys, if anybody’s out there listening and you want to learn a lot and build some real relationships and get to know smart folks like Tina, get yourself a radio show or something. A video show, I don’t I don’t know. But this is fantastic. Another thing that I that kind of leapt off the page for me when I was reading my notes and preparing for this conversation. You are a professional speaker, yet one more thing you’re out there doing. I’m curious, what is that like? What have you learned from it? How do you leverage that to to to serve even even more?
Tina Baxter: Well, I, I have had the gift of gab, as I would say since I was little. My report cards would say Tina is an excellent student, but she talks too much. And so the art of communication is so important. And I look at my public speaking as as a way to bring you on a journey with me. I recently had a session with a group of women business owners, and this is still when we were doing everything online, you know, during COVID and we weren’t allowed to meet in person. And I just thought, you know, I’m tired of the same boring leadership stuff that, you know, everybody’s talking about, Oh, you need to do your self care and you need to, you know, your personality. And I thought instead of doing the same leadership talk that everyone’s done, I’m going to write a short story. And that’s what I did. So I tell stories. I’m a very good storyteller. I can tell a lot of stories. My students would say to me, I think you’re making that up. No, that really happened in nursing. Yes, I did have a patient. Run around naked with a. A hospital glove on his head. A latex glove right around the table on the psychiatric unit. Like a chicken? Yep. That happened. And I’m like, It’s real. But so I tell stories, and so I wrote a short story to emphasize the leadership point.
Tina Baxter: And what was interesting as that, as I told the story, people were able to find themselves in the story. So I speak on leadership topics, health topics and faculty for a continuing education company. And so they would fly me around the country to speak on different health topics and things like that. So yeah, I’m I’ve always had that art of wanting to tell stories. And to be honest, I started out in radio in high school, so I’m I’ll tell you a little bit about that. Yeah, I was a disc jockey in high school, in college. Whoa. I had my own radio shows. I took broadcasting in high school because as typical what happens with me, I ran out of classes to take that would fit into that time. I could have graduated in January, but I didn’t want to leave school because I was involved in all these activities. So I just had to find classes to fill my schedule and I took broadcasting. Now my mom worked for the radio and television station and public relations, so she was really against it because she didn’t want me to go into radio or music. That was a whole other thing. But I convinced her. I said, Well, this fits into my schedule and it looks like fun.
Tina Baxter: And it was. And I learned so much. This is back in the day, you know, pre-Internet and all that, where you had to do the whole big reels and the tapes. Oh, wow. And I had my broadcasting license. I’m dating myself here. And so I did that and I had a jazz show when I was in high school because it was a jazz station, jazz and blues, and then on in college I had a gospel show because it was a Christian university. And so I got to put on the gospel show for them, and I did that. And so I was up and down the highway, coming straight from church right up to the studio because I had to get on the air. But those skills that I learned helped me to be a better speaker and also helped me to do a weekly Facebook show, Facebook news show. And I told my mom I came full circle. There was a reason why I had to take that class like I had to take typing in high school. And that was I was I was very smart in that because now I spend all my day on the on the computer. And, you know, I spend my time talking to people in and doing things like that. So I think it worked out great.
Stone Payton: Well, it certainly sounds like it. So let’s circle back to this Facebook Live program that you do. What are you talk about? Who is tapping in into that content?
Tina Baxter: I talk about everything and all things nursing, business and news. So I’ve covered it started out me just telling people about what was happening during the pandemic and where to get their medical supplies. It was really the focus, you know, for nurses to kind of say, Hey, I found out we’ve got medical supplies at this warehouse, you can go get some or, you know, these people have hand sanitizer. This is where you can get your COVID testing done. And that’s how it started. And then things started happening so fast in health care that I started covering the the strikes that they were having the nurses going on strike. And then it added into finding nurses that were doing phenomenal things that I wanted to highlight them. So I have a segment called Nurses Making a Difference, and then I wanted to include something about leadership. So I sent it to it’s on my Facebook page on my back professional services page, Am I a nurse Strike Academy page? But now we’re also uploading all those, not all of them, but for the last six months, I’m starting to add up the ones on YouTube’s new YouTube page.
Tina Baxter: So our targeted anybody in health care because we cover what’s happening and it started the more the news story started coming more when I saw a article about a nurse that committed suicide and they died by suicide and I thought, we have got to do something and we’re in the middle of this pandemic. My background is mental health, and I thought, I’m going to do something to help these nurses. And so I had my very first spiritual renewal for Nurses Day, and I did an online session for nurses or anybody that wanted to come because I didn’t want anyone else to have to take their own life. And I wanted some way for me to give back. And I thought, I’ve got this platform, let’s do it. And I launched that first first event through the Nurses Academy because I wanted nurses to really be able to connect and to get back to taking care of ourselves. We’re very bad about taking care of ourselves and the burnout is real.
Stone Payton: Yeah. You’ve done so much more than just build a successful business. You’ve you’ve grown this community, You’ve built this tribe as as Seth Godin would say, I think speak a little bit, if you would, to the to the idea of building a community and the care and feeding of a community. Maybe some of what you’ve learned in that.
Tina Baxter: You know, I look for opportunities and see where the needs are and gravitate towards there. And that’s kind of how the community has grown. I had so many people that say, Oh, I saw your your show and you do your daily affirmations, and I needed that affirmation for today, you know, So it’s kind of organic. Once you reach out and someone else says, Hey, you need to listen to this. And, you know, it’s it’s really great to have that find your people. You know, I discover my my people are definitely nurses and that’s my heart. But I’ve also talked to social workers. I talk to physicians. I talked to a veterinarian and found out that veterinarians are also having a high rates of suicide. And I never would have thought of that as a as a group because I’m like, you get to play with puppies all day. But there there’s a lot of underlying things that happen in the industry that if you’re not a part of the industry, you don’t know. And so it was very enlightening for me to talk to this veterinarian who was going through similar struggles, like nurses are like doctors are with burnout because you have to have so many clients to take care of in order to meet your quota. If you work for a big company that owns it. And it’s it’s the same thing that’s happening in medicine. You have to have so many patient visits in order to meet some metric. And, you know, it doesn’t matter if the care is where it should be as long as you meet the metric, right. And you have to put all the all the little push, all the little buttons and make sure you click all the little boxes and all that stuff or you don’t get paid. And so I think people don’t understand that’s what’s happening in medicine and the find that’s happening in other industries. And so I said, you know what? If you all want something for veterinarians, I’d be happy to do a spiritual renewal for you too, because I think we all need that. We all need that.
Stone Payton: So it’s very difficult for me to envision you running out of gas, getting a little low in the tank and needing it. And, you know, I’ve been around, this isn’t my first rodeo. Certainly at some point you do need to sort of recharge. Where do you go? And I don’t necessarily mean a physical place, but how do you recharge, get refreshed and ready to go out and serve again?
Tina Baxter: Well, I, I put myself on the schedule. So during during the month, during the week, I always put a little special time just for me. And I do things like getting my nails done. You know, I’ll. Or I’ll get my hair done. Or I’ll get a massage. I like to book my massages every month. That’s just one of those things. It’s like when I’m going there, don’t call me. I’m not answering the phone because I’m in that zone. But the other thing that I do is periodically, as I schedule what I call my thinking day. And I don’t put anything on the calendar. And I just take that time to think. I may read a book, I may watch a program that’s inspirational to me, but sometimes I just sit there and I think and it gives my brain a chance to rest. And then I get inspiration when I get that time because my mind is open to possibilities. And that’s where things will pop in my head in the middle of the night or I’m in the shower and I have a great idea and I’m like, I need to write that down, put that on, put on the calendar. And so that’s that’s kind of how things come. And I always make sure that I schedule time for family. I talk about those time blocks. I put them in there and that’s the time I’m going to do something with my husband.
Tina Baxter: So I’m really working on having a healthy boundaries so that I don’t get to that place of being completely burnt out because I’ve been there before and I know what that’s like and don’t ever want to go there again to where I really take a check in with myself. I was working in a job years ago and I realized I didn’t realize how burnt out I was in this job until I took a two week vacation. It took me a whole week to calm down and relax. So the second week I had, it was wonderful. I sat in the backyard, I read books, you know, I got out in the sun and then I came back to work within 30 minutes of being in the building. I started having chest pains again. And then I realize one year people are trying to kill me. And two, I needed to make a change because this job was too much. I was a supervisor. I was covering three departments in the building, plus covering the E.R. and the hospital. If they had a console and doing all this extra stuff. While I was going to grad school, and I realized that this is an unhealthy environment for me at that time. And some of the things that were happening just weren’t positive. And I decided to make a change. It was like, okay, I’m either going to stay here and die because I’m going to die from all this stress or I’m going to make a change.
Tina Baxter: And I chose to take a job that was part time at the time, less money, but also less stress. And it was a job that I could grow into, which ultimately helped me as I became a brand new nurse practitioner. So it worked out. But you have to be brave and sometimes make those changes and have those boundaries, and that’s something I didn’t do very well when I was younger. I’m the girl that worked two full time jobs and worked 21 days. No, let me go back. No, it was actually 42 days. 42 days straight without a day off. Wow. And I worked. I would get typically 4 hours of sleep at night. And I was young. So, you know, when you’re young and broke, that’s what you do. But I remember I was so exhausted, I crawled up. My apartment’s on the second floor. I crawled up the stairs, got into my apartment, shut the door, then slid down on the floor and passed out. And woke up 2 hours later, crawled over to the sofa and called in for my nightshift job and then proceeded to call in for my day shift job the next day. And I remember feeling so exhausted that I’m surprised I didn’t end up in the hospital. And I thought, I never want to get to that place again. Never want to get to that place again.
Stone Payton: Before we wrap up, let’s leave our entrepreneurial minded nurses with a couple of pro tips, something they ought to be thinking about, reading, doing, not doing.
Tina Baxter: I’m going to say this. Start with what you love. So many times we look at a business and think, Oh, I can do that because someone else did it and they were successful and they made money. But if it’s not something that you love, you’re not really going to be as successful as you could be. And you may actually end up failing because you’re not going to put the effort in it that you want it to. Great example. Someone introduced me to a lice removal business, head lice. And that business is a great model. I researched it was a franchise. I thought about it. I was positioned in a great place because there’s only two other franchises in the state will be perfect or in the middle of the state would have been great. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized I would be absolutely miserable. I don’t like head lice. It makes me itch just thinking about it. I could not see myself doing this day in and day out. And ultimately, I decided not to do that business. Now, is that a great business for somebody else? Yes. I can point you in the right direction with the people that get you started on that, because it was one of the nurses that did. It was a school nurse and she deals with this every day. And it worked out great for her. And she was doing great things with this business. And I thought, oh, great business, Not for me. So find out what you love, you know, and start there. Don’t just look at the numbers of how much you can make. Find out what your passion is. My passion is teaching and educating and and really helping people get to where they want to be. So that’s my passion. And then second. Don’t be afraid to just take the leap. Right. You can do the research. You can do the background. But eventually it’s a leap of faith. You’re going to have to take that leap.
Stone Payton: All right. What is the best way to connect with you? Tap into your work. There’s so much to to take full advantage of. Let’s leave our listeners with some coordinates.
Tina Baxter: You can always reach me on our website. Baxter Professional services dot com. You can give us a call 76538780467653878046. Or you can find me on social media. I’m on LinkedIn and I’m on Facebook Instagram. Now tick tock, that’s new. So you can always find us on our social media.
Stone Payton: Well, Tina, it has been an absolute delight having you on the broadcast today. Thank you so much for sharing your insight, your perspective, your experience. You’re a breath of fresh air and you’re doing really important work and we sure appreciate you.
Tina Baxter: Thank you.
Stone Payton: My pleasure. All right. Until next time, this is Stone Payton for our guest today, Tina Baxter with Baxter Professional Services and everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you in the fast lane.