Starting your own private practice as a nurse practitioner

Starting your own private practice as a nurse practitioner
admin-sc September 24, 2021 telehealth Telemedicine

A nurse practitioner clinic? That’s unheard of. Not anymore. Nurse practitioners have been taking the world of medicine by storm, as they take on house calls, wellness clinics and now, private practices. Private practice nurses have proven that their profession is constantly evolving as they have emerged as a group of independent healthcare providers. 

The first question is: can a nurse practitioner work independently? The short answer is yes. However, there are several layers to that. It is crucial to choose the right state to open your nurse practice in. Some states have stricter laws governing the operation of nurse practices so it is best for budding practice to avoid those. The second is the question of cost and legislation. 

The Top States for Nurse Practitioner Practice

While NP-owned practices can be set up, their modus operandi is determined by the state in which the practice has been opened. Before starting on your own as a private practice nurse, you need to conduct adequate research to find out what you have to work with. In some states, solo nurses aren’t allowed to conduct their own private practice. You may be required to set up your nurse practitioner clinic with a collaborating physician. However, in other states, you can open and run an NP practice independently. 

There are three practice authority designations for each state: full, reduced, and restricted. 

Full Practice states allow private practice nurses to work independently and perform their work in full capacity, from evaluation and diagnosis to prescription and managing treatments. States which allow this are 22 in total, including Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Connecticut, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont.

Reduced Designation states allow NP practices to work independently after logging some hours of work under another health provider. States which allow this are 16 in total, including Alabama, Ohio, New York, Utah, and New Jersey.

Restricted Designation states do not allow nurses to perform certain elements of practice and require oversight from health providers for the entire course of their careers. These are 12 in total, Texas, California, Texas, Missouri, and Virginia. 

Nurse Practitioner Steps

Some other things aspiring private practice nurses need to take into account are:

You must check in with yourself: This is no easy task. You need to be aware that the road will be long and tricky. There is a lot to get through, from expenses to working with complicated insurance companies. Insurance companies are notoriously hard to work with, which is why they require an immensely talented collaboration team to get through the motions. In addition, you need to find partners like lawyers, tax advisors and administrators. You also need expert coders on the team. 

Fuel up on patience: You need to organize and compartmentalize your tasks with a game plan in mind. There are three things you need to do; find an office space, build a team, and come up with a marketing plan. You need to remember that setting up your nurse practitioner clinic will require a significant amount of time. 

Do your research on licensing and permits: Even if the clinic will simply offer visitation and consults, you need to have adequate paperwork from state authorities to be considered legitimate. 
Apply for a National Provider Identifier: The NPI is required to bill Medicare and get access to health records. 

Figure out which supplies you need for your NP-owned practice: You need to look for the best prices; find out if you can get your hands on some used equipment. This will allow you to set aside money to invest in other aspects of the practice. 

Build a social media presence: This is key to building a successful business. You should start promoting yourself on Instagram, YouTube or Facebook. In addition, you can use social media to join niche groups and start networking. It always helps to have friends in the industry.

Get malpractice insurance: medical practices get sued often, be it valid lawsuits or frivolous. Acquiring malpractice insurance is key to making sure your business and its assets do not become liable in the case of a lawsuit.  

Factors That Affect the Cost of Setting Up an NP Practice

To set up as a private practice nurse, you are going to need a large amount of money. The more you have, the better. You need to take into account that you will most likely have to borrow money from a lender. Undercapitalization can be fatal for your NP practice. In addition, you are required to collaborate with your lender on all issues. You must structure your capital and entity optimally, with the help of an advisor or attorney. 

Several factors influence the amount of money you need, such as:

  • The cost of your EHR
  • The variety of services that you plan to offer
  • The amount of space you will need to conduct these services
  • The number of employees you plan to/need to hire and train
  • Your marketing plans
  • The payer mix you have
  • Other operational expenses and expected utilities

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