Does A Nurse Need To Start A Business To Be Self-Employed?


Please enjoy this guest post by Pat Bemis, the President of the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA). Keith and Kevin will be speaking and presenting at the 2013 NNBA Conference in Orlando, Florida in October of this year. Please consider joining us in Orlando!


As President of the National Nurses in Business Association, I’m often asked what is the most important information a nurse should know before becoming self-employed or starting a business. The following is some information to consider.

1. You are already licensed to provide nursing services in your state under your RN license. If you are providing nursing services covered in your Nurse Practice Act, you don’t need to start another business, such as a DBA, LLC, or Inc. I worked under my RN license for two years before I incorporated.
2. Services covered by your Nurse Practice Act do not prohibit independent nursing. They include: (from the Florida Nurse Practice Act November 20, 2012. Most states are similar.)

Practice of professional nursing means the performance of those acts requiring substantial specialized knowledge, judgment, and nursing skill based upon applied principles of psychological, biological, physical, and social sciences, which shall include, but not be limited to:

  • The observation, assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, intervention, and evaluation of care; health teaching and counseling of the ill, injured, or infirm; and the promotion of wellness, maintenance of health, and prevention of illness of others.
  • The administration of medications and treatments as prescribed or authorized by a duly licensed practitioner authorized by the laws of this state to prescribe such medications and treatments.
  • The supervision and teaching of other personnel in the theory and performance of any of the above acts.

3. Most services offered by a nurse consultant are covered by the nurse practice act. You don’t have to start another business. If you need more tax deductions and benefits you can incorporate.
4. As a nurse, you are personally responsible for your actions as long as your RN is active. Starting an LLC or a corporation will not protect you from personal liability for your actions as a nurse. You can obtain some protection by purchasing professional liability insurance and have an attorney provided for you. Nurse Service Organization offers a policy for consultants. I personally use and recommend NSO. They will also provide you with an attorney to represent you in front of the nursing board for violations including ethical issues. I carry this insurance to cover me personally as a nurse.


The National Nurses in Business Association is a professional association for self-employed nurses and/or nurses in business. Our annual conference is in October. Follow this link for all the details: .