Establishing your own business — particularly in the field of medicine is at once an exciting and fear-inducing proposition. You want to serve the community with your knowledge and expertise. But you’re also nervous.
Without a hospital, all the cost, all the risk, and all of the uncertainty fall solely on your shoulders. In this article, we take a look at all of the intricacies of kickstarting your independent nursing practice.
While nurse practitioners receive much of the same training that family medicine doctors do, they are held back legislatively in many parts of the country. Though not the case everywhere, some states prohibit nurse practitioners from issuing prescriptions and diagnoses without the supervision of a licensed doctor.
Naturally, this can make it very difficult to run an independent practice. Before you get too far into your entrepreneurial journey, survey the local laws. If they favor you, great. If not, you may consider finding a state that is more nurse practitioner friendly.
Before you kickstart a medical practice, it’s important to keep in mind that doing so will open you up to a degree of legal accountability. The United States has staggeringly high levels of civil action relating to medical treatment.
If a patient decides that your behavior resulted in a negative healthcare outcome, you could be held financially responsible. You may subvert this risk with specialized business insurance. However, even in the best of circumstances lawsuits are a stressful and unpleasant experience.
When something goes poorly in the hospital setting it is usually the hospital that will assume the financial and reputational repercussions. When you’re out on your own, there is no such support.
Of course, this shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for the ambitious nurse practitioner. It is, however, something to be aware of.
To launch a successful practice you will need a building out of which to operate. Your office building will require patient rooms, a reception area, a waiting room, and enough space for basic medical equipment. Locating all of these infrastructural requirements can be a bit of a challenge. The easiest option may be to take over the practice of a retiring doctor or nurse practitioner.
Not only will this give you all the infrastructure you require, but it may also set you up with a reliable roster of patients. Short of this, you will just need to bide your time and be willing to take on a building that could require extensive renovation.
Consider the Cost
The cost of starting a medical practice is estimated to fall between $70 — 100,000. This figure accounts for the cost of procuring a building, the necessary supplies, and any licensing fees you might incur. Your startup costs will also need to cover at least a small staff — someone to answer the phones, schedule appointments, take care of billing, etc.
Much of this cost can be covered by a small business loan. However, you will probably need at least some startup cash to get the ball rolling.
The psychology of Entrepreneurship
Since we just discussed all of the hardships that come with starting your own business, it should be no surprise that there is a strong association between entrepreneurship and anxiety. Some of this anxiety is reasonable and even productive. A significant amount of time, effort, and money are on the line. By appreciating the gravity of the situation, you increase your chances of making decisions that will lead to success down the road.
Some of the anxiety isn’t so reasonable. Imposter syndrome is a condition common to entrepreneurship, but particularly prevalent in people working within the field of medicine.
People experiencing imposter syndrome are essentially plagued with the feeling that they aren’t qualified to do their job. Everyone around them belongs where they are, while the sufferer themselves has arrived there by accident.
No amount of training or education is enough to completely lift someone out of imposter syndrome. The condition is usually relieved by mindfulness activities. Review:
- You are a vetted and certified professional. One cannot become a nurse practitioner without rigorous training and education. You have completed these qualifications.
- Business will come your way. You are a talented professional. People want to receive healthcare from talented professionals.
- The fear you experience is normal. Every new physician feels uncertain and underqualified.
It’s also important to avoid making unjust comparisons. If you take an established nurse practitioner as your baseline for success, you will inevitably fall short. Try to make personal comparisons instead. You know more today than you did yesterday.
When in doubt, talk to people who are in a similar position. By speaking with other nurse practitioners, you will surely learn that they have had the same experiences of anxiety as you.
With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.