Stephanee Beggs, 28, made a name for herself long before becoming a nurse. She originally earned a degree in business management but soon decided to go back to school to pursue her dream of helping others. Beggs was in the middle of an accelerated nursing program, which she says packs three years’ worth of education into one year, when the pandemic shut everything down, forcing her to continue her education online. She said remote learning made it difficult to collaborate with other students. And there were no hands-on learning opportunities for her to put her knowledge to use.
So, she started documenting her studying process on social media.
“I was trying to figure out how I’d actually be able to study by myself and retain the information, so I started filming these videos where I’d teach myself different nursing topics by talking to the wall,” she told Business Insider. “I’m a very visual person, so saying information out loud and playing the videos back helped me retain information.”
Beggs shared the videos on TikTok where she quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of views. She now has over 600k followers on the app.
“People started messaging me asking if they could buy the study sheets in my videos. I decided to create an Etsy shop and figured I’d maybe sell enough to be able to buy lunch every day, but I ended up selling more than 64,000 items in the past two years, making close to $2 million in revenue,” she explained.
She said most of her customers are other nursing school students looking to ace their exams, but she also gets messages from registered nurses and licensed nurse practitioners who want to stay up to date on the latest medical information.
The study sheets are designed to make it easy for students and professionals to retain the information they need to provide essential care.
Beggs is now a licensed nurse, but she still posts a video once a day, which incentivizes her to seek out new information. But being an influencer and entrepreneur on top of working as a nurse can be overwhelming.
“I work 12-hour shifts at the hospital and when that’s over, I go home and work on being an influencer and my business,” said Beggs. “When I have days off, all I do is work on my social media, whether it’s creating and editing content or answering comments, DMs, and emails.”
She said she feels a responsibility to show up for her audience now that she’s built such a devoted following. She also doesn’t believe her role as an influencer is distracting her from the healthcare profession. In fact, it’s enhancing her knowledge and experience.
“The type of content I create is more about knowledge and less about showcasing my personal life, so I’m able to create a balance and set boundaries,” she noted.
When she first started making videos for TikTok, she wanted to set herself apart from the major influencers who were sharing every single moment of their lives. She wanted to make educational content that benefited her audience instead of just obsessing over herself.
It’s turned into a full-fledged business. “Now that I’ve made a name for myself, I do try to follow more of a schedule. I make sure to post at least three times a week on TikTok and Instagram. I don’t ever post on Fridays or Saturdays because I’ve found my audience isn’t really on their phone and looking to study on the weekends.”
She sells her sheets on Etsy for $2 to $40 per package. There are dozens of nursing sheets on the market, but Beggs’ are handwritten, which adds a personal touch. They are also very concise to keep nurses focused on the most important information. There are bundles devoted to entire sections of nursing, such as pediatrics, as well core essentials and those made for specific classes.
Even though the schedule can be grueling, Beggs said she doesn’t plan on quitting nursing anytime soon.
“I created a successful business as an influencer, but as of now, I genuinely like working both jobs. Plus, it works well for me that everything I teach on social media comes full circle in real life in the emergency room and I’m able to share that with my audience,” she said.