I have a question regarding the difference between working prn vs being an independent contract nurse. I am considering going back to work for a previous employer in a doctor's office. When I asked the office manager regarding benefits if I came back prn she said there would be none, that it would basically be like I was an independent contracter. So my question is, would I actually be employed by the group or would I be an independent contractor? If I am employed by the group then would the salary that I request and/or be offered be lower than that of an independent? And if I am employed by the group, than would I be covered by worker's comp for potential job injury. And if it is as an independent, then is that something that I would be responsible for providing to myself, and how would I do that? Sorry for all of the questions but I just want to get it straight in my head what I am getting myself into. I was also considering submitting my resume at other offices as well, but now that I think about it, that would be more like an independent and probably be frowned upon if I am actually employed by the group in the previosly mentioned job, right?
Thanks for any words of wisdom about this.
Nov 29, '03
Being like an independent contractor and being an independent contractor are not the samething.
If you do not have a business license do not accept a 1099. If you do not have a businsess license and the employer does a 1099 instead of a w-2 they will get in trouble with the IRS.
There are some very strict IRS rules about what constitutes an independent contractor.
1. is there a contract?
2. Does the employer dictate how you do your job.
where you do it, and when you do it.
to meet IRS guidlines you must be free to perform you job in any manor you choose, at any place (ie you do not have to do it at the employers establishment) and they do not dictate the time.
3. A contract needs to spell out exactly what you will do and when the job is finished. For example the job is finished when the project is completed. Or you set a specific time Like Dec. 2003. This time line marks the termination of the contract.
Contractors contract for a specific project or a specific time period.
4. As an Employer I know that the employer can get in VERY big trouble if they fail to provide their contractors with coverage for injuries that take place on thier premises by contractors.
If you are considering contracting you must charge a much higher rate than they would normally pay an employee (PRN or not) because you will have higher expenses. Keep in mind if you are a independent contractor you will be paying self employment taxes and if you choose to keep social security you will pay double what you pay as an employee. Also consider the cost of labor you will have in doing all the tax and legal paperwork that you will have in figuring your price.
Independent contracting is not for the faint of heart. If yu desire self employment it can be a boon. Remember you are a ground breaker as Nurse contrdactors are not real common yet and not generrallywell accepted.
Do not do this without a business license.
I am not trying to paint a negative picture just trying to give you a real picuture.
Some employers try to cut corners by 1099ing employees. It is illegal. They are trying to avoid the expenses associated with employees. Ask this employer if they intend to 1099 you? or will you still get a W-2. This will tell you two things.
1. If they 1099 they are unethical, and will do everything to cut corners (this means you may get hurt as well). If they W-2 then you will not be an independent contractor.
Now if they W-2 you and you think you would like to do it as an independent contractor they will probablly be open to it as it will save them the extra labor and cost of using you as an employee. I would definately think twice if they wanted me to accept a 1099 without a contract without a license.
If they present themselves to you as an employer then they better use the W-2.
As an independent contractor you are self employed that may sound inviting but you will have to provide all your own medical coverage, disability insurance, etc. Please, look into what this will really cost you first. I know you do not have this coverage with this employer but you will at least have workers comp, unemployment insurance, some states even require you to be covered under a state disability plan even if you get no other benefits, plus you are responsible for the employer's half of the social security. Ther are some definate advantages of being PRN over independent.
I have a nursing related business and I work as a PRN employee for someone else. I would not consider contracting with my employer as it would not be worth the trouble and expense.
On the other hand my business is totally different and I alone carry all the expenses. But I conduct my business totally without dictates of anyone else.
In my PRN job I let them know when I am available and willing to work. If they need me they call.
Last edit by Agnus on Nov 29, '03
Nov 29, '03
i just reread your post. It sounds like you applied to one office of an employeer and now you are cosidering applying to other offices owned or operated by the same employer? And you are considering contracting at one of those offices and being an employee at another?
Oh we are getting into sticky waters here. You need to deside what you are now. An employee or a contractor.
A contractor will be likely used at any and and all of thier offices. An employee may be hired for one or more offices. (ahthough a contractor can be contracted to one specific office if spelled out under a particular project contract)
I would not touch this with a 20 ft. pole. I would not mix these apples and oranges. The legal implications are staggering.
Pick one and stick with it. Don't do both in this situation. If an issue arrises about anything you could be held liable as a contractor and you will have to hire an attorney go to court to prove that you were an employee in a given situation and you will likely loose.
this idea muddies the legal water in a way that is extreemly bad for you.
They can denie you your employee status and the already mentioned hidden benefits of that status. As an independent you stand alone. Trying to do both for the same employer put you in a very dangerous legal position. NO NO NO
Last edit by Agnus on Nov 29, '03