As a nurse practitioner, you may be thinking of starting your own nursing practice. You can set your own schedule, focus on the skills and healthcare services you value most, and develop life-long relationships with your patients. Starting a small business may seem daunting, especially when it comes to marketing your services to patients and the local community. But starting your own practice is an exciting opportunity that can help you fulfill your dream of owning your own business.
Mallory Buxton, BSN, RN was working in the ICU when she decided to launch Solos: Concierge Nursing Inc., a network of independent nurses that perform one-on-one on-demand healthcare services. After reading up on the latest entrepreneurial trends, she went into business for herself and started recruiting talented nurses all over the country that help patients in the comfort of their own homes.
If you’re ready to launch your career as a small business owner, use these tips to get your private practice off the ground.
Starting Your Own Nursing Practice
There are several steps you’ll need to complete if you want to start your own nursing practice. Some states allow nurse practitioners to go into private practice, while others stipulate certain requirements such as having a physician onsite or being accessible in case of an emergency.
Follow these steps to get started:
- Check your state’s private practice laws and the specific requirements to see if you can open your own practice.
- File all the necessary paperwork, including forms for licenses and permits.
- Become credentialed as a private practice nurse and apply for an NPI number, so you can bill Medicare. This may take some time, so start this process as early as possible.
- Create a business plan, including what services you’ll provide, what kinds of patients you want to work with, and where your practice will be located. Create an overall budget and financing plan for your proposal.
- Determine which forms of insurance will be accepted, compensation rates, and what services will be covered.
- Sign up for malpractice insurance to protect yourself financially.
- Gather supplies for your practice, including exam tables, medical supplies, office supplies, medical equipment, and whatever you might need to care for your patients.
- Determine your staffing needs, including receptionists, medical assistants, and other personnel. Create a system for hiring, paying and training your employees, including health insurance coverage, labor laws, and other HR concerns.
Marketing Your New Practice to Patients
Once you’ve created your small business, it’s time to start marketing your services to patients in the area. You should have a firm idea of what kinds of services you’d like to offer and what kinds of patients will most likely benefit from these services. Put your credentials as a nurse out there, including how many years of experience you have in the field, previous employers, special skills, and why patients should choose your practice over your competitors. Use this information as you go about creating a marketing strategy.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Read Up on the Latest Marketing Trends
If you’re new to the world of marketing, the best way to get started is to read a social media marketing blog, so you can start utilizing the latest marketing trends. You’ll learn how to run a successful social media campaign, target the right users on social media, and start making valuable connections with patients and other professionals in the industry.
Social media is one of the best ways to market your business. It’s free and all you need is great content to get started. But these apps can be more complicated than they seem, especially when it comes to running a business account. Learn how to use the latest features and avoid common mistakes, so you can attract as many new patients as possible.
- Designate a Target Audience
Before you start marketing your new practice on social media, you need to designate your target audience by deciding what kinds of patients will be most interested in your business. Maybe you’d like to work with kids, elderly patients dealing with chronic pain, or those still recovering from surgery. This will inform every aspect of your marketing campaign, including what you post on social media and how you position your practice within the local community.
- Partner with Local Businesses for Referrals
You can also use social media and your existing professional connections to get more referrals. Offer to promote the services of providers in private practice as long as they’re not offering the same kinds of services, and they will likely do the same for you in return. You can quickly grow your network by partnering with other professionals with existing patients in your area.
Leverage these tactics to start the next step in your career. With some marketing know-how and a great business proposal, you can start running your own healthcare business.