I’ve been getting so many questions from the community about starting a business, but the main point of inquiry is the same.
“How can I contract directly with a hospital and cut out the middle man?”
Well, to do it right, you have to actually become the middle man (or woman) and start a nurse staffing agency. Even if it’s just you or a couple of other nurses together interested in starting it, you’ll want to establish an actual business to make this happen.
This entrepreneurial endeavor isn’t for the the faint of heart, and it will be a challenging one, however it’s definitely not impossible. Some of the information I’m sharing with you on this podcast are a few of the resources you’re going to need to tap into, and also what your initial allocation of resources is going to look like during the startup phases.
I know you may not be interested in studying right now, but it would be good to get really familiar with your State’s Nurse Practice Act. Update yourself on both RN and LPN scope of practice, nurse-to-patient ratios, and possible limitations for the number of consecutive hours worked without time off.
I’ve often responded to many entrepreneurs about whether they need a detailed business plan, and typically the response is that it depends. An outline of your business goals is certainly a good idea regardless of your endeavor, however a more formal business plan may be necessary for a staffing agency. There are resources out there available to create a business plan, and many of them offer a template for a staffing agency.
Many businesses can be started from home, but this may actually require you finding an office space and business mailing address. There’s a reason for this, and I go into it in a bit more detail on the podcast, but what I can say is that it has to do with the Joint Commission.
Receiving certification through the Joint Commission may seem like an overwhelming task, however it will in fact help give your agency an advantage for getting those much needed contracts. There are other opportunities out there to help get your agency some smaller contracts as it’s likely the hospitals will want to see this type of certification for your new startup.
The point of contact to find out how to become a contractor with the hospital is typically through the Human Resources Department. Whether you contact them directly, or have a sub contracted sales person, this is where you’ll find out more about each hospital’s requirements for temporary staffing contracts.
Again, I often hear that many of you want to do this solo, however it may be best to reach out to some other nurses for potential placement in the hospitals. Often times nurses who pursue these career paths are indeed contracting with multiple agencies, so adding your agency to the list may not necessarily be an issue for them. Pursuing it solo is possible, but having a pool of other nurses with various skill sets may actually give you more marketability. It is important to vet your staff, even if it’s you. And yes, run a background check on yourself.
Proposal and Contract:
Submitting a proposal through the “Request For Proposal” (RFP) process, and this is where you’ll need to familiarize yourself with some of the language, although consulting with an attorney can also make this move a bit more streamlined. There are also templates available for staffing contracts that you can input your own information into, however when contacting the Human Resource Department of the hospital, inquire as to whether they already have a contract and process that they use.
Now do keep in mind that once you’re considered a contracted employee of the facility that the reimbursement for those hours worked isn’t like what you may be used to. I discuss this further on the show, so if you haven’t already, tune in to find my take and personal experience on the matter.
Are you still interested in starting up your own staffing agency?
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