Let's say you are planning to start your own home care agency, consulting practice, medical practice, staffing agency, LNC group, or any other nurse-owned business.
You will need an accountant and book keeper at some point. You may also need a practice advisor. You may also need a business law attorney to assist you with incorporation and other general business issues.
At some point however you are going to need the services of a nursing law attorney to assist with a matter, provide an opinion, or provide risk management and regulatory compliance services.
There is only soooooo much you can obtain from websites, blogs, chatrooms, forums, and self-help and "for dummies for dummies books." I have my share of "for dummies" books. For dummies provides a general overview of what you or may not need to know on any given topic. But how do you know what you don't know if you don't know what you are doing?
I purchased one for Quickbooks for Law Firms last week. I am still on page 1. I had my personal assistant schedule an appt. with my accountant and I am going to work his book keeper and probably use Quickbooks Online for my law firm going forward. It is not an efficient use of my time to pull my hair out with Quickbooks along with the other projects, tasks, and cases I am working on in my law firm.
Trust me this law firm will not be one of the many law firms you read about that had "a bizillion dollars" stole by ABC a long-term and trusted employee over a 2 year period. How can you not miss hundreds or thousands of dollars in your own cash? I don't even keep "cash" in my wallet because I want to track/trend my spending.
There is nothing wrong with saving a dollar or two but when you are self-employed and a small business owner you have to delegate at some point. You must also pay for professional services for your business. I am a small business owner and I also practice law which means I had to find a system/process for delegation which fit my non-traditional law firm and niche law practice: just nursing.
I finally figured out how to make it work for my law practice. My office manager is Tina. Tina works me virtually M-F, 9am to 3pm. Tina manages my online calendar, schedules my appointments, and assists me with new case intake and processing.
I have two personal assistants. Maya works 0930 to 2pm M-F with me and Jaren works with me from 10am to 5pm M-F. Jaren and Maya work together and directly with me on a variety of law firm, professional, and personal projects/tasks. We are working with a new project management software which syncs perfectly with Google Business Apps.
Google Business Apps (paid version) is the truth.
Jack works me sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, depending on the caseload and what he has cooking in his own business.
Hiring staff, independent contractors, or retaining professionals to provide professional services costs money. However the key is reviewing what works for you depending on your business and practice model; it took me 3 years to figure out what works for my law practice and my law firm.
It is worth every penny to have client calls answered promptly, to have client meetings scheduled immediately, and to have a team to really work up and run the lenght of a case that is needed in license defense and a nursing law practice. My overhead with my part-time staff is reasonable and certainly signficantly less than what you see with a traditional law firm staffed with a receptionists, secretaries, paralegals/legal assistants, practice managers, attorneys, etc.
There are only so many "For Dummies" books and manuals you can read. I have Excel for Dummies and I have not opened the book in 3 years. I hate Excel because I was not trained properly and it is not a skill which I need in my knowledge, skills, and abilities to practice as a nurse license defense attorney.
I am waiting for release of Vegetable & Chicken Noodle Soup (with crackers) for Dummies. I will pre-order my copy on Amazon.com when available.
At some point you have to bite the bullet and hire a professional to assist you in providing specialized services for your business. Also there are soooo many arrangements available now outside of the traditional employer-employee relationship.
During my two and half weeks off in the form of staycation (I am too busy to take an actual vacation this summer) I spoke with a number of nurses involved in State Nursing Board investigations and post-discipline cases. Some retained me and some did not, for whatever reason.
I am not the cheapest attorney and if you are looking for someone who can give you the " K-Mart Blue Light Special" on a flat fee; 99.99% of the time, it will not be me. There are a number of attorneys who handle these cases (Columbus, Indianapolis, Louisville, and then there is me here in Cinti practicing in all three states) and I quote the fee based on the information I have and the intake interview. If your case is more complex, the fee will be higher.
If you had licensure issues as a LPN, RN, and now again as a APRN, this will be reflected in the fee I quote; your fee will not be $2,500.00. Sorry. Maybe in another practice but not here. I am not just taking cases to take cases; I take cases to work the case for the long run. I am "in it to win it" like Hil Clinton. She is coming back, you know.
Maybe once I hit the lotto, I can advertise that I will accept any licensure case, any case, and represent from investigation to hearing to post-disciplinary monitoring and beyond (head to toe) for $999.97 and a large Oreo Blizzard from Diary Queen, but not today.
Nurses who are small business owners will eventually need the services of a nursing law attorney to assist with some aspect of the business. I am a nurse who owns a small business. Retain an attorney and move forward with your business; it is a cost of doing business and it helps you safeguard your nursing license if you are also practicing in your business.