Entrepreneur Skills for Independent Nurse Practitioners

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Nurse Practitioners (NP) play a vital role in the medical industry. While they may not have the highest numbers for employment in comparison to Registered Nurses (RN’s) — a mere 183,000 for NP’s to RN’s nearly 3 million nationwide — their level of responsibility and ability to move throughout various departments in medical environments is of indispensable value to current health care systems.

With the nations projected shortages of medical doctors in the coming decade, as well as shifts in the elderly population seeing a greater need for advanced care, NP’s will be of great need. With an overwhelming mass of burnout in the nursing profession because of  the COVID-19 pandemic, many resident nurses are considering leaving the profession.

Nine out of ten nurses feel misunderstood and unappreciated for the work that they put in every day despite the intensely valuable efforts that they, and all other healthcare workers display. These reasons, and a slew of other sobering statistics, are causing more state legislators to reconsider full practice authority. The steady increase in full and reduced practice licensures for NP’s is opening up the availability for NP’s to open their own practices.

The freedoms to make your own schedule, take breaks without feeling guilty, choose who your patients, and even the staff you work with are all sound, self-respecting reasons to consider taking the leap into entrepreneurship. Here are some suggestions for entrepreneurial knowledge that will assist in the transition from public to private practice.

Private Practice

With almost half of the United States legislators having approved full-practice authority for NP’s, the availability to open your own offices in the state you already live in is becoming much easier to do. Being that NP’s have the benefits of greater autonomy, the only immediately obvious downsides to establishing a practice seems to be the effort and complications that come from business administration.

However, someone interested in opening their own independent practice would be wise to do so only after having spent a number of years practicing in a salaried position.

As with any small business, there are great risks and rewards. While a potential rise in income will always be a tempting factor, that should not be the foremost issue. Insufficient start-up costs or investor capital can put massive stains on any business just starting out, and any dip in consistent cash flow while developing ones clientele can cripple even the best of business plans.

Most NP’s have little to no experience in running their own business, so thorough research should be done long before making the leap. Things like state licensures, accounting, tax information are key, but did you know that private practice NP’s are also responsible for providing their own liability insurance? All of these are not meant to be deterrents to any dreams you may have, only sobering facts to consider beforehand.

Who Will You Serve?

Many new, small business owners nowadays are likely very aware of popularized phrases like “build you brand”, or, “what’s your mission statement?”, and while those are important factors in the overall structure of any business, those things need to come in connection with a refinement of the niche you want to hold in your community.

Before any effective marketing techniques can or should be employed, much thought should go into how your unique skills, personality and interests will allow you to stand out and attract the right type of customer base. Just as with any major hospital, there are specialists for various medical maladies. Clarity about who you may want to focus on serving is important.

Income Generation

Depending on the business route you take — for-profit vs. non-profit — the type of income that is being generated can vary. Is your income stream only from a clinical practice, or are you getting grants and endowments that allow you to host a free clinic? Depending on what type of service you decide, or if it’s a hybrid, you are going to need to track where and how it’s coming in. Even the utilization of Medicare versus Medicaid will change the type of practice you have and thus the income.

Startup Funding

Regardless of whether you decide to become a for-profit or non-profit business model, you will very likely have to find investors to help get your business off the ground. So the question becomes, “Who can I go to for financial support?”

Family and friends are usually a good place to start. Now, while they may believe in you and your mission, most families don’t have much capital lying around. On top of that, mixing finances with family and friend relationships can be dangerous territory. More than a few families have gone from healthy and loving to fractured over business ideas gone bad. In that respect, it may be best to go the more traditional route: financial service providers.

Banks, government, and non-profit groups can all provide funding, but, more than that, you will often find the support from other people who have also stepped out into a business venture. The companionship and professional connections found there can be strong if well-paced and supported within healthy, legal boundaries.

Do you Have these skills?

As with any field, there is going to be a broad variety of independent and overlapping skills which will make or break the success of a business, so browse this list of abilities and ask yourself whether you have or need to develop them:

  • Are you confident of your ability to communicate the value of your service, your vision?
  • Do you have the mind to compose a business plan?
  • Are you comfortable with network marketing so that you can find and nurture mutually beneficial relationships?
  • Are you familiar with how to document and track patient records in both analog and digital formats?
  • Are you the kind of person who is highly organized and can not only keep track of small details, but understand how those nuances can positively or negatively affect your business?

Above all, this question needs to be at the forefront of your mind: “Will I be able to support myself without a steady paycheck for a year or more?”.

These are just a few of hundreds of skills that a successful entrepreneur may need in order to establish an independent practice. Regardless of your specific skill set, it’s also good to know that there are thousands of people in the country that can fill in the gaps in your abilities with their own. Yes, you will have to pay for their services, but the pride that will come with the long-term success of your own business can’t be bought.

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Meet Waleed Tariq, the seasoned entrepreneur and visionary behind the blog. Get ready for valuable business insights, practical tips, and a fresh perspective that resonates with all – from aspiring entrepreneurs to seasoned professionals. With a passion for empowering others, Waleed's engaging writing style and real-world experiences simplify complex business concepts.

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