A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is a registered nurse who has a specialized education and family practice clinical training. They are able to provide holistic, comprehensive care to all of their patients. Compared to a registered nurse, a nurse practitioner will have a much higher level of training in clinical and classroom settings and in some states, they will be classed as a primary caregiver. FNPs have been trained to work closely with adults and children, usually in terms of a clinical setting or family practice, making them truly versatile individuals. With all this responsibility, you may be thinking, can a nurse practitioner have their own practice? Well, the answer is, yes. This is one of the most exciting opportunities that come with becoming an FNP as it allows them to develop their independence. Opening your own practice isn’t easy and there are many steps that an FNP will need to follow, which can be seen below.
Practice Requirements and Paperwork
Before anything, you need to know what the requirements of your practice may be in your state. Some states don’t allow independent practices, so the FNP will need to discover whether it is possible to do so in their state and whether a physician will need to be on-site, nearby or accessible. Once this is understood, paperwork will need to be filed. At the end of the day, opening a medical practice will be classed as a business, so licenses and permits will need to be obtained. An FNP will have to apply for an NPI number in order to bill Medicare, in order to become credentialed. This can be very daunting. The link for the application process can be seen here.
Create a Business and Financial Plan
Creating plans for the business and determining finances is essential before starting up a practice. The FNP will need to determine the specialty they would like to focus on. For example, primary care, family practice, pediatrics, etc. Their certification will help the FNP narrow down what they specialize in further. To start any business, financial start-up costs are vital. Location, equipment, licensing/application fees, staffing, and advertising all need to be priced up. A suitable location needs to be chosen.
Research and Purchase Insurance
There are several things to consider when it comes to insurance. First, insurance reimbursements will need to be determined. Most of the time, patients will not pay out of pocket when it comes to insurance. If an FNP wants to open their own independent practice, insurance that will be accepted will need to be decided. The compensation and the services that will be covered will also need to be looked into. This will help the FNP choose what supplies to purchase. Obviously, there will be a list of items that are essential for any practice and this will need to be understood before opening a practice. Health insurance isn’t the only insurance that needs to be considered. Various types of business insurance cover, such as malpractice insurance, need to be researched into and purchased.
Business Marketing and Hiring Staff
Marketing and advertising are critical components of all business success and the same will go for starting up a practice. There are many ways to market a business successfully and today, digital marketing is becoming extremely successful. Online marketing is key to modern-day business success. However, printed marketing materials should not be forgotten as they will all help to build up a practice. When marketed successfully, the business will grow, which will increase the staffing requirements. FNPs may need to hire additional staff, like medical assistants and receptionists, to aid a growing practice. Wages, labor laws, training, and health insurance coverage will also need to be determined.
Other Reasons to Become an FNP
If you have been wondering, ‘can a nurse practitioner have their own practice’, you may also be wondering what other benefits come with becoming an FNP. There are tons of reasons you should consider studying to become an FNP:
- It gives you an opportunity to get extremely close to becoming a doctor, without having to lose touch with patient care. You get many more responsibilities than a general Registered Nurse, but you still get to work directly with your patients.
- The field of FNPs is likely to grow more than any other areas of nursing due to the opportunity it gives to fill in your working life the way it suits you. Due to the high demand for FNPs, there are many work settings to choose from and you can request shorter hours if required.
- There will be opportunities to work in various geographical locations. Some nurses will only want to work in big hospitals near home, however, being an FNP will allow you to work in rural and remote communities if you would like that option. You will find work anywhere you go.
- Due to the high demand for qualified nurses, especially those with an advanced practice degree, some employers will fund their education to become one. As an FNP, you would earn more money, which means you can get this education funded and earn more in return.
- Your work will always be different and you will always get to work directly with people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. Preventative care is just as important as healing in this role and you will have frequent adrenaline rushes that have the potential to be extremely rewarding.
Being an FNP is an extremely diverse and fascinating job that will be respected by everyone you know. There are so many advantages and opportunities to progress as an FNP, owning your own practice being one of them. Starting up and owning a practice isn’t easy and there are a lot of things that need to be thought about and considered, but with time, patience, research, and preparation, plus the right frame of mind and work ethic, it is something that can be achieved and it will definitely be worth it.