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How to Start a Nurse Registry

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A nurse registry acts as an employment agency, connecting private clients with nurses, nursing assistants, home health aides and homemakers, for services in a person’s home. Nurse registries also provide services for clients in nursing homes, medical facilities, hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Nurse registries are commonly referred to as nursing agencies or home care agencies. If you have a medical background and want to be self-employed, starting a nurse registry business may be the ideal solution. Although a nursing degree is not required in most states, there are some important steps to consider when starting a nurse registry company.

Write a business plan that includes expense sheets, business location costs and expenditures associated with the start-up of your nursing agency. Write a strong vision statement detailing the services you will offer and the kinds of advertising you will use to promote your new business. It is best to have a business strategy, vision statement and budget plan before starting a nursing agency.

Determine the most appropriate mode of business organization -- options include proprietorships, partnerships, limited-liability companies and corporations -- and file the necessary paperwork with the state or county registrar that handles new-business registration. Each business structure has slightly different tax burdens, liability patterns for the registry's owner and state filing requirements, so consult with a competent business attorney or accountant for counsel.

Join the U.S. Small Business Administration and enroll in their online classes for small business accounting, marketing and sales. According to the SBA website, a written guide to starting and running your business is essential. As a member, you gain access to guides on starting your own business, finding a niche market and free online tutorials about small business strategies.

Register for an Employer Identification Number with the Internal Revenue Service. According to IRS.gov, a new business needs a Tax Identification Number so the IRS can identify the company’s tax status. This is a free service provided by the IRS, and you can apply online, by phone or request paperwork by mail.

Contact your State Business License Office and ask if you will need a business or occupational license to operate in the desired location. Business.gov reports that regulations vary by industry, state and locality, so it’s important to understand what kind of licenses your state requires for nursing agencies. In addition, contact your local government office to see what business or zoning permits are required to operate a nursing agency in their community.

Obtain the necessary insurance for starting a nurse registry. This should include business property insurance, liability insurance and workman’s compensation for employees. Apply for fleet automobile insurance if you plan to provide company vehicles for your traveling employees.

Advertise in newspapers, nursing magazines and job websites to recruit candidates for your nurse registry. Perform background checks on potential employees and verify candidate's employment histories, work references and clearances. Make a copy of all licenses, specialty certifications and medical degrees.

Contact local hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities for potential clients. Advertise in community papers and medical periodicals that you own a nurse registry business that offers home care services. Publicize your grand opening and offer gifts to entice new clients.

Tip

Use the Business.gov search tool to find grants and loans available for small businesses.

Warning

Operating a business without the proper permits and licenses may result in costly fines.

About the Author

Roseanne Omalacy became a published author and freelance writer in 2006. She is the author of several novels and has been published with Literary Partners Group, Alyson Publishing and "Scarlet Magazine." She is a Pittsburgh health and relationships columnist, holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from Pennsylvania State University and has over 15 years of nursing experience.

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