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Self-Employed Nurse – Independent Nursing

Did you know? You can work as a self-employed nurse and bill the state for your services. Like an Uber/Lyft driver, a nurse holds an individual license and meets all the criteria to work as an independent contractor. So, as a Registered Nurse, you have the ability to start your own business as a “nurse entrepreneur.” This article will discuss the criteria that qualify a nurse as an independent contractor.

Sometimes it becomes unclear the nature of a business relationship – whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor. The Internal Revenue Service using a three-part common law criteria to determine your worker classification.

1. Behavioral – Does the company control how the worker performs their job?

While a healthcare organization provides policy, it is the duty of every nurse to ensure that company policies are consistent with the scope of nursing practice. The primary responsibility of a nurse is to serve as a patient advocate, and when necessary, report inappropriate behavior. Aside from ethical issues, nurses have tremendous freedom in the way that they provide care. While a Physician may order a blood draw, he does not tell you what gauge needle you should be using. Thus, a nurse meets the standards for this component.

2. Financial – Does the business control your finances?

Traditionally, nurses are hired as employees and receive paychecks on a consistent schedule. Yet, many nurses work on a contract or “per diem” basis. Per diem nursing is a form of independent contracting. In this situation, the nurse receives compensation on a contract basis at a pre-determined hourly rate. Independent contractors and employees are both subject to taxes. An employer often withholds taxes from each paycheck. As a self-employed nurse, it is important to set money aside to pay taxes on your own.

3. Relationship – Does your employer provide benefits?

One of the biggest challenges of being self-employed is the loss of benefits provided by an employer. A common incentive of full-time employment is the benefits. This can range from medical, dental vision, 401k, etc. As an independent contractor, you will not be eligible for these benefits. Benefits can be obtained through a spouse or domestic partner who is an employee.



One important clarification, it is not the title of a relationship, rather the reality that determines a worker’s status. According to the IRS, there is no one “magic” rule that determines if someone is an employee or contractor. Rather, it is the big picture. Factors that are relevant in one situation may be different in another.

Are you ready to begin working as a self-employed nurse? The NurSearch team can help! Sign up for NurSearch (it’s free) for a free career

IRS Website


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