What Is An Independent Nurse?
An independent nurse is a nurse who has decided to work outside the confines of traditional nursing practice by starting her own business. This is a very brave step to take, but it can create an entirely new outlook on life for you as you will have many more opportunities than you did in the past. It is becoming more and more common for professionals in a number of different fields to head in the direction of private practice. The same goes for nurses. There has been a major shift in the field of nursing of late and it appears that nurses are now considered to be skilled professionals. This is largely due to the major technological advances in the field of nursing that they have had to adapt to.
Why Should I Become An Independent Nurse?
There are a number of reasons why you should consider becoming an independent nurse. You will, for example, be you own boss and set your own schedule. You will have more freedom in your career and you will not have to answer to anyone. However there are a number of skills that you will need to possess in order to make a complete success of your career as an independent nurse. You will need to be:
- Highly organized
- Confident enough to operate a business
Being an independent nurse means running your own business, which carries with it a high degree of risk? For example, if you run out of money and can no longer afford to keep our business up and running, you will be out of work.
Steps In Becoming An Independent Nurse
Groups like the National Association of Independent Nurses are organizations that exist to provide you with information about how to become an independent nurse. In general there are a few key steps that you will have to follow, although the path will be slightly different for each nurse. The first thing that you will need to be an independent nurse is a nursing degree of some description. You will also need to attend a number of business classes. These are skills that you will need in order to successfully run your own business. The last thing you will need is an operational manual that will guide you as you practice.
The first step involves completing business classes on how to start and run your own business. If you are going to be an independent nurse it essentially means that you are going to be a small business owner, so you will need to know how exactly to do that. Before taking your business classes you need to earn one of the following qualifications:
Before you start your business training it is suggested that you work as a nurse for at least a year, preferably longer, so that your skills will be well-refined. There are three main ways in which to get your business training:
- Form a technical school
- Form a community college
- Form an online independent nursing business program
The second step can either be done in conjunction with the first step or on its own. We recommend that you get a guidebook that explains everything that you need to know about starting and running your own business. You do not have to go through formal training, especially if you can find a book that comes with useful and normative software, but generally speaking your qualifications will be taken more seriously if you go the formal education route. You are also more likely to understand the concepts more clearly if you learn in a classroom situation where you will have the opportunity to discuss the work with others.
Regardless of the educational route you choose to take, you will then need to apply for the licenses and permits required to open your nursing service. You will also need to obtain a business tax ID number from the IRS and check local and state governmental offices to learn about other legal documents required to launch your practice. The documents that you need could differ depending on the state that you want to practice in, so make sure that you are properly informed about the procedures for your particular state. Open a checking account in the name of your agency as soon as you’ve received these documents so you can begin purchasing the things that you will need to start your business.
Step 4 involves setting up your office space. At first you will probably be working from home, but it is important that your office space is separate from your family and personal space because if you do not keep your work life and personal life apart you are likely to never stop working which is not healthy. There are a number of things that you will need in your office:
- A phone
- A computer
- Accounting software
- Client tracking software
- Business cards
- Stationery for correspondence and invoicing
- Office supplies
Before you start seeing clients as an independent nurse you need to have your office space properly set up and ready.
The next step involves getting malpractice insurance. This is a very important step in the process. Cut corners anywhere you like except when it comes to malpractice insurance. Until there are changes in tort laws, medical professionals must protect themselves from exposure to lawsuits, so prioritize this expense. You cannot assume that you will never be the subject of a malpractice suit. Even the best nurses find themselves in a difficult position, even when they have done nothing wrong. This can be because a patient has misunderstood a situation, or someone else has made a mistake that you are being blamed for. Whatever the reason the lawsuit to clear your name will be expensive and lengthy and you therefore need to make sure that you are adequately covered.
Step 6 involves setting your fees and finding your clients. Remember that the fees you charge cannot be more expensive than your competitors because then people will not choose to come to you for medical assistance. On the other hand you do not want your fees to be so low that you do not make a profit. You need to think about this aspect of your business very carefully. The following tips are useful when looking for clients:
- Search for clients by running ads in the print and online editions of your local newspaper’s classified section
- Post flyers on the bulletin boards of grocery stores, libraries and community centers
- Make your contact information (phone or e-mail) a prominent part of your marketing materials
To keep your business going and to build your reputation you need to take the time to network with local hospitals and medical facilities. This is so that if they ever have patients that want an independent nurse contractor for a short period of time, these agencies will be able to provide those patients with your name. Networking is one of the best ways in which to build you client base. You need to ensure that you treat all your patients with the highest level of service possible and that you do, where possible, offer them additional services that they may not receive elsewhere. This will encourage them to suggest you to their friends, and in the long run you will be able to build your client base considerably. Join a group like the National Association of Independent Nurses (NAIN) so you always have someone to turn to if you have questions or concerns about your practice.
There is not a lot of information about the National Association of Independent Nurses available, but if you contact this organization via telephone or mail you will be able to find out more for yourself. What is clear is that independent nurses have a lot going for them. The process of becoming an independent nurse may be a long one, but there are many advantages to be had. Also, by joining the National Association of Independent Nurses you will improve your resume considerably which will increase your chances of being employed by clients and patients who need an independent nurse.
If you would like to find out more about the National Association of Independent Nurses, please use the contact information provided below:
Address: 1125 e Broadway road suite 116, Tempe, AZ 85282
Tel: 1 800 338 5105