If freedom and autonomy are what you are looking for, there is no better career option in the nursing practitioner field than that of becoming a family nurse practitioner. It’s the only nursing degree that is considered important enough in a number of states to actually allow FNPs to open up their own healthcare practices. Nevertheless, just as it is the situation with all businesses, you will need to know how and where to start from and the following points should help you to do just that.
Start Your Own Practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner
Get a Master’s Degree in FNP
Of course, you cannot start your own nurse practitioner’s business unless you have a nurse practitioner’s degree and the license to practice. Go to the Bradley University to complete your MSN-FNP, or better yet, apply for the Bradley University Online Family Nurse Practitioner Program. Studying online would allow you the time you need to hold a job on the side so that by the time you graduate, you will have both the education and the experience.
Find Out About the State Laws
When it comes to letting nurse practitioners start their own practices, the laws governing the process in the US differ greatly, depending on the state. Some states like New York and Vermont allow a large deal of freedom to their NPs and FNPs, but only after they have gained enough experience under certified doctors for at least 1-3 years. On the other hand, in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Idaho, Hawaii, Maryland, Rhode Island, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Wyoming, Maine and plenty of other US states, certified nurse practitioners have full authority to practice primary care, just like a general or family physician. Choose a state that has no legal bindings on you opening up an independent nursing practice and then contact the nursing board of the state that you are planning to practice in, to know every legal detail that you need to be aware of. At the very least though, you will need to get an NPI number.
Family nurse practitioners are not immune to malpractice suits, so signing up with the Nurses Service Organization or some other similar service is a must. In fact, you will find that the credentialing process will be delayed until you get insurance.
Get the Logistics Straight
You may need the help of an accountant to do this properly, but you will have to do this nonetheless. Everything from the minimum number of staff that you will need to start with, the office furniture, to the rent will need to be planned in advance and you must prepare the funds accordingly. Also, banks are more likely to give out a loan to startup businesses if they have a plan in place.
It might take the practice a year or so to break even and start making you profits, so be prepared for that. You might have to hold an alternate job to pay for additional/personal expenses, but given how in-demand nurse practitioners are these days, finding one is not really a problem. The bottom line is that if you give it some time, keep the above points in mind, and put in the necessary hard work, you will definitely figure things out sooner rather than later.