Nursing as an Independent Contractor
We’re here to dispel the myths.
No, you don’t have to be a travel nurse to regain control of where you work or when you work.
Yes, nurses can be independent contractors.
And yes, you can pick up extra shifts any time you want.
As you consider nursing as an independent contractor, lots of questions may come to mind. With over ten years supporting nurses in their journeys as they gain experience, advance in their careers, and find opportunities where they’re happy and making a difference, we have answers to many of your questions.
Here, we’ll answer the questions that nurses ask us most often about working as an independent contractor and specifically with NurseRegistry.
How much can I earn?
Independent contractors set their own pay rates.
We’ll only share with you shifts and patient visits that match your interests, experience, availability, and rates.
When will I be paid?
Nurses are paid weekly—the week following completed shifts—without waiting for client payment.
How will I be paid?
Is there overtime pay?
Independent Contractors are self-employed and do not get paid overtime.
What hours would I work?
Work when you want! You’re in charge of your schedule.
Shifts can be 2 hours long to 12 hours long, AM/PM, or NOC.
How does vacation time work?
When you want to take time off, simply notify us that you won’t be picking up shifts for a while.
What nursing positions does NurseRegistry staff?
We have a wide variety of positions that include per diem work, contingent facility staffing, and private duty nursing care. Full-time positions are rare. Direct-to-hire roles are also few and far in between.
We provide staffing for facilities such as outpatient surgery centers, skilled nursing facilities, doctor’s offices, and mental health treatment facilities.
We work with specialty infusion pharmacies, home health agencies, and hospice organizations.
Individuals also contact us looking for one-on-one private duty nursing care.
Will I get the roles I want when I want them?
Not always, but you will never take a shift you don’t want. And that goes a long way.
NurseRegistry’s Care Coordination Team works one-on-one with nurses and clients to match types of roles, timing, and location. Nurses are encouraged to reach out to the coordinators to update their holiday schedules, new certifications, and changing interests.
As expected, the market need for nurses determines the positions that are available and can be seasonal.
November and December, for example, are known to be slow months for independent contractor nurses. Some roles—like the recent need for COVID-19 wellness checks or flu shots—went through a surge.
One of the primary factors that affects availability is also location dependent. Specialized care like recovery centers or eating disorder centers may be found more in certain locations, while elder private care may be more popular in other areas.
What if I agreed to an assignment, but I need to cancel?
We ask that you notify us 24 hours in advance, when possible, so we can find someone to substitute for you.
What if I agreed to an assignment, but it was cancelled?
We guarantee our nurses a 2 hour minimum pay if our client cancels within 12 hours of the shift start time.
What are the documentation or care notes requirements?
Documentation and care notes requirements are dictated by the client.
Facilities may have paper or computer charting.
Private clients may have a care binder for charting in-home, or you may need to complete a specific care note and send it to us.
We will let you know beforehand what kind of documentation is required for a particular client.
What documentation does NurseRegistry require?
Are any certifications required?
Nurses are responsible for maintaining their active licensure, as well as Basic Life Support (BLS) Card.
Some clients may require additional certifications, such as Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Certified Hemodialysis Nurse (CHN), Wound Care Certification (WCC), etc.
Does NurseRegistry provide continuing education?
NurseRegistry partners with various clients to provide specialized education and training. One example is our partnership with specialty infusion pharmacies. They will come in several times a year to provide our nurses with training about various infusion therapies. Many even provide CEUS. (Note: These sessions are temporarily on-hold for the duration of the pandemic.)
NurseRegistry shares free CEU opportunities in the monthly newsletter, which you can sign up for here.
How are taxes different for independent contractors?
At the end of the year, independent contractors receive a 1099, not a W-2.
Unlike an employee, independent contractors will not have taxes withheld from their paycheck. They may still owe taxes at the time of the income tax return.
The reporting threshold is $600.
Are independent contractors eligible for tax deductions?
Working as an independent contractor opens a wide range of tax deductions:
- Mileage & Gas
- Home office expenses
- Travel & hotel expenses
- Liability Insurance
- Professional & Legal Fees
- Child Care
- Self-Employment Health Insurance Deduction
We strongly recommend contacting your tax professional for further information on the tax deductions that are available to you. Please note that those consultations are tax-deductible.
Should I carry liability insurance?
Nurses must carry their own liability insurance and the policy has to be active.
At NurseRegistry, most nurses that come to us are insured through Nurses Services Organization (NSO.com). Insurance rates vary, but usually range from $50 – $100/year.
Who provides independent contractor nurses with healthcare coverage?
Independent contractors are responsible for their own medical insurance.