I also have questions like: do I need an IRS tax id number or is the NPI and Medicaid Cert good enough? My taxes go through my SSN? What about hours worked for license renewal? How do I find steady work? Sorry, but Im new to this and have tons of questions.
You may get more responses from the section "Entrepreneurs in Nursing". There's some information there. There may be some independent nurse contractors on this board, but for the most part we work with agencies, at least who I've seen here recently. Good luck!
Most PDNs work through agencies, so there aren't that many who know the specifics to that.
Since those things vary from state to state, your state's Nurse Practice Act and the BON who acts as the regulatory body to govern nursing practice would be the logical place to find that information. You might also want to ask a lawyer who's expertise lies in nursing and the law such as The American Association of Nurse Attorneys to help you cover your bases as far as taxes and personal malpractice insurance, etc.
I always thought about looking into that, the money would be better, but I like that my agency takes care of getting new cases, takes care of all the paperwork and legal stuff, provides training and supervision, etc. AND take care of collecting $ and issuing payroll, etc... To me not having to do all that is worth sharing the fee. Plus if my client is in the hospital or otherwise unavailable, they'll find something else for me to do.
I did independent contracting as a hospice nurse for a year. The taxes were a HUGE headache so I took them to H&R block. Apparently the the taxes were so complicated that the pros couldn't even do it right. I ended up owing the IRS thousands, despite paying my taxes to the IRS quarterly to avoid just that.
Be sure and ask your tax preparer if they have experience with independent contractors. Heck, I'd even ask for references from their independent contractor clients if I were you.
Also, you are more likely to get audited as an independent contractor, so keep ALL of your receipts and time sheets.
As far as finding cases, the easiest way would probably the internet/social networking. Care.com might be a good place to post, but I've never used it (only seen the commercials). It would also be wise to get in with any case managers at local hospitals, I would think. You can also get business cards printed CHEAP from vistaprint, which might not be a bad thing. Lots of business have corkboards where you can post your card. Facebook and LinkedIn might be other good options to get yourself out there.
You might also want to consider putting up a website and/or getting a separate phone number for your private duty clients.