Would you work for a hospital as an Independent Contractor?

  1. If you were able to work for a hospital as an independent contractor and made more money, do you think it would be worth paying your own malpractice insurance, health insurance, self employment taxes (quarterly) and social security? I am not asking if it is possible. I am simply asking for some feedback to see if you think it would be worth the extra effort if you ended up making more, say a net of about $5-$10/hr more.
  2. Poll: Would you work as an IC if you ended up making more at the end of the year?

    • I definitely would. The extra money would be worth it.

      52.00% 13
    • I am not sure, that sounds like a lot of work.

      32.00% 8
    • No, I don't want to have to do the extra work. I am satisfied with what I am making.

      16.00% 4
    25 Votes
  3. Visit btoddrn profile page

    About btoddrn

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 20; Likes: 13
    SRNA; from US
    Specialty: 13 year(s) of experience in ER, ICU, Resource Nurse, Hospice


  4. by   RNewbie
    Although it's a lot of work, I think it would probably be worth it. Even after paying all of those other costs, you should still be netting much more money. Probably more than $10/hr, right?
  5. by   btoddrn
    What would be needed is for you to create an LLC or S corp. Then you would have to pay quarterly taxes instead of annual. When you work for a hospital as an employee, you pay some taxes and they pay some of the taxes. When you work for yourself, you have to pay both of those taxes. However, when you work as an independent contractor (1099 employee), you are then able to write off a lot more when you file your taxes. You will need a good CPA that is experienced in working with independent contractors to make sure you stay on the up and up with the IRS.
  6. by   libran1984
    for only $5-$10 more an hour...??? Wow.... that's just ridiculously low reimbursement for the amount of paper work you have to do to try and cover yourself.
  7. by   btoddrn
    How about if there was somewhere you could go that would help you get set up as an LLC or S-Corp; would help with the contracts; remind you of when your certifications and licenses were about to expire to make sure you stayed compliant; connect you with facilities that take Independent Contractors; and would help you with scheduling at the different facilities? If you had all of this assistance, would it then be worth the extra money?
  8. by   RNewbie
    Yes it would be worth it. People don't want to do the foot work for something like this, but if I had that kind of assistance I would highly consider it.
  9. by   annatuesday
    I know of an ER nurse who left to go to an agency. He said housing and food is provided, travel cost is provided, and basically is wages go mostly into savings. On top of that, he gets a chance to work at large organizations he may not have had a chance to work at if he was looking for a permanent full time job. If a nurse does not have kids and can travel, working for an agency is great. The only negative is that may be, depending on where you go, the staff may not accept you or like you, because you're always the "temporary outsider".
  10. by   jhanes
    Do the math. $5-10 more per hour won't be much for trading off benefits, paying your own taxes and double the amt. of Social Security witholding, plus a LOT more for medical insurance, but if you have insurance through a spousal plan, then maybe 40% more wouild make it worth while. Many Physical Therapists in Home Care are independent contractors; not too many nurses, except for some who work for Nurse Registries. We just don't make enough per hour or visit to make it worthwhile.
  11. by   Pistachio
    5-10$/ hour is 10-20 thousand more per year so yeah it'd be worth it.
  12. by   jimbr1
    Having spoken to a couple of colleagues, one who was doing prn for an agency and another who was doing a travel contract, the company billing rate as related to me was $68.00/hr for the travel contract while the billing rate for the prn nurse doing private duty was $100.00/hr. (2 different agencies) Now, consider what you may be getting paid through some of the agencies for either local,prn or travel, would you think that it is worth it to be a private contractor?...something to consider..
  13. by   NedRN
    I've been doing just that since 2004. It is a lot more than $5 difference. Agencies take on average of around 20 to 35 percent of the bill rate. That is yours when you set up your own agency.
  14. by   elkpark
    I pay for my own malpractice insurance anyway, and encourage every other nurse to do the same; health insurance is a lot more expensive if you're shopping for it as an individual, and there are other benefits provided by many employers that aren't listed above -- e.g., life insurance; dental and/or vision insurance; short- and long-term disability insurance, and some employers still provide some degree of matching funds for retirement savings. The typical nursing compensation "package" is quite a bit more than the actual paychecks we take home. One could always choose to do without the extra insurance, etc., but, if you wanted to be safe and have them, that proposed additional $10-20k/year would get whittled down quite a bit.
  15. by   NedRN
    That 20 to 35% agency margin I quoted is after all direct traveler costs, including health insurance, housing, per diem, and the employer's share of FICA, unemployment compensation, and workers comp. As far as getting your own insurance, with one pre-existing I am paying less than half of what group health would cost. I know that can't work for everyone, however everyone can COBRA existing insurance for 18 months at the exact same cost as the agency (plus 2%). So that margin is truly extra for the independent traveler.

    There is a lot more in the way of benefits - for one, I only am negotiating for one person, me. I don't have to lowball to get the contract and try to squeeze in many more travelers to the same hospital. I usually have the highest bill rate of any agency. When you have a corporation, you can deduct a lot of expenses first dollar - which is far better than itemizing a 1040 as an employee. All my healthcare costs are paid, including mileage to the drugstore for aspirin.

    Running your own business takes a certain mindset that is not for everyone. But there is no doubt that it pays more.