Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Contract Attorney
Acute Care NP Agreements
As an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), you’re at the forefront of health care, providing treatment for patients with acute, critical, and complex chronic illnesses. With the rapidly evolving field of healthcare, it’s important to stay current and informed. This blog post aims to provide valuable resources, guidelines, and lifestyle suggestions to assist you on this journey.
Understanding the Scope of an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
The role of an ACNP extends beyond typical nursing duties. ACNPs are responsible for managing the entire spectrum of care for their patients, from diagnosis to treatment. This involves making crucial decisions about diagnostic tests, medication management, and therapeutic procedures.
For a comprehensive understanding of the ACNP role and its responsibilities, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) provides a detailed scope and standards of practice for ACNPs.
Staying Up-to-Date with Evidence-Based Practice
Remaining current with the latest research and practices in acute care is critical. Evidence-based practice (EBP) ensures that the care you provide is not just based on your clinical expertise, but also on the most recent, relevant research.
JAMA is a high-quality resource that publishes peer-reviewed clinical research, and PubMed hosts over 30 million citations for biomedical literature. Both are excellent sources to stay updated on new developments.
Technology and the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Embracing new technology is crucial for ACNPs, as it can significantly improve patient outcomes. Tools like electronic health records, telemedicine platforms, and healthcare mobile apps are becoming commonplace in the field. Here, the National Institute of Health’s section on Health IT can be an essential guide.
Lifestyle and Wellness for ACNPs
Working in acute care can be both rewarding and demanding, requiring you to maintain your physical and mental wellbeing. Joining communities of fellow nurses can provide support, advice, and a sense of camaraderie.
Nurse.org offers a lively community forum where you can share experiences and gain insights from fellow nurse practitioners across the globe. The American Nurses Association also provides resources on maintaining mental health, managing stress, and staying fit.
For relaxation and leisure, consider subscribing to the Nurse Practitioner Life blog, which covers a wide range of topics from travel and hobbies to personal finance.
Continuous learning and skills advancement are integral parts of a nurse practitioner’s career. From workshops to online courses, many platforms offer continuing education units (CEUs). Websites like Medscape provide a vast array of CEUs that can be completed at your own pace.
Remember, as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, you’re not only a vital member of the healthcare team but also a beacon of hope for patients in critical conditions. Staying informed, utilizing the latest technology, engaging in continuous learning, and taking care of your own well-being are crucial to succeed in this challenging and rewarding profession.
Important Terms in a Medical Contract
NPs with non-competes in their nurse-practitioner employment agreements were initially considered restraints of trade. Thus, they were invalid in public policy at common law. However, many restraints on trade incident to healthcare contracts were upheld based on the rule of reason. Thus, restrictive covenants between nurse practitioners not to compete after the termination of employment are generally enforceable as long as it is reasonable.
However, there are a few states which prohibit non-compete clauses. Please review your state laws for non-compete rules and regulations to see the specific rules for your state.
The general test for reasonableness of these clauses holds that on termination of employment, a covenant that restrains an employee from competing with his former employer is termed reasonable if:
- The restraint is not more than required to protect the employer,
- It does not inflict any untold hardships on the employer, and
- The restraint is not detrimental to the public.
In one such case, a provider restricted from practicing his specialty after leaving the hospital where he worked had their non-competition clause considered unreasonable. The judge ruled that this would be harsh if enforced because there are only a few other hospitals in the area with subspecialties like this one. They needed to protect themselves by preventing transfers of knowledge between providers.
Courts generally find that these clauses were only enforceable if there was some legitimate interest from the employer and would damage their ability to find qualified staff later or hurt public health care. Those needing legal advice should consult an attorney before signing any contract. Hence, they know what rights may come into play when things go wrong with their current job, regardless of whether non-compete reviews seem necessary at first glance!
NP Employment Agreement Checklist
Employee contracts are all unique. However, nearly all medical and professional nursing provider contracts should contain several essential terms. If these contracts do not spell out the critical terms, disputes can arise when there is a disagreement between parties regarding the details of the specific term. For instance, if the doctor is expecting to work Monday through Thursday and the employer thinks it’s Monday through Friday. Still, the particular workdays are absent from the contract—who prevails?
Spelling out the details of a nurse practitioner’s job is crucial to avoid healthcare contract conflicts during the employment contract term. Below is a checklist of important terms that contracts should contain (and a brief explanation of each term generally discussed in negotiations):
- Practice Services Offered: What is the clinical patient care duties? Is there time for a review of administrative tasks? How many patients is the nurse practitioner expected to see?
- Patient Care Schedule: What days and hours are employees expected to provide patient care per week? What is the surgery schedule? Are employees involved in the planning of their schedules?
- Locations: Which facilities will the employer schedule the employees to provide care at (outpatient clinic, surgical sites, in-patient services, etc.)?
- Outside Activities: Are employees permitted to pursue moonlighting or locum tenens opportunities? Does a nurse practitioner need permission from the employer before accepting medicine-related positions?
- Disability Insurance: Is disability insurance provided (short-term and long-term)?
- Professional License: Will the practice offer reimbursement for licensing? Will an advisor be provided?
- Practice Call Schedule: How often is the employed nurse practitioner on call (after-hours office call, ASC, hospital call (if applicable))?
- Electronic Medical Records (EMR): Will the employer provide training resources or time to review the system before delivering care?
- Base Compensation: What is the annual base salary? What is the pay period frequency? Does the base compensation increase over the term of the agreement? Is there a yearly review or quarterly review of compensation? Is there a group management relationship?
- Productivity Compensation: If there is productivity compensation, how is it calculated (wRVU, net collections, patient encounters, etc.)? Is there an annual review?
- Practice Benefits Summary: Are standard benefits offered: health, vision, life, retirement, etc.? Who is the advisor of human resource benefits?
- Paid Time Off: How much time off does the job offer? What is the split between vacation, sick days, CME attendance, and holidays? Is there an HR guide?
- Continuing Education: What is the annual allowance for CE expenses, and how much time off do they offer?
- Dues and Fees: Which business financial expenses are covered (board licensing, DEA registration, privileging, AANP membership, Board review)?
- Relocation Assistance: Is relocation assistance offered? What are the repayment obligations if the contract is terminated before the expiration of the initial term?
- Signing Bonus: Is an employee signing bonus offered? When is it paid? Does the employee have to pay it back if they leave before they complete the initial term? Are student loans paid back? Is there a forgiveness period for student loans?
- Professional Liability Insurance: What type of liability insurance (malpractice) the employer offers: claims made, occurrence, self-insurance? License and litigation defense? Can you negotiate tail?
- Tail Insurance: If tail insurance is necessary, who pays for it when the agreement terminates?
- Term: What is the length of the initial term? Does the agreement automatically renew after the initial term?
- For Cause Termination: What are the grounds for immediate termination for cause? Is a review provided to dispute the termination?
- Without Cause Termination: How much notice is required for either party to terminate the agreement without cause?
- Practice Post-Termination Payment Obligations: Will the nurse practitioner receive production bonuses after the agreement terminates?
- Non-Compete: How long does the non-compete last, and what is the prohibited geographic scope?
- Financial Retirement: Is a financial retirement plan offered?
- Non-Solicitation: How long does it last, and does it cover employees, clients, patients, and business associates?
- Notice: How is the notice given? Via hand delivery, email, US mail, etc.? Does it have to be provided to the employer’s attorney?
- Practice Assignment: Can the employer assign the agreement? Will the healthcare agreement require ongoing compliance with a new employer?
- Alternative Dispute Resolution: If there is a conflict regarding the contract, will mediation or arbitration be utilized? What is the standard attorney review process for disputes? Who decides which attorney oversees the process?
Attorney Services for an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Contract
Coming into a new organization with a favorable contract can put the NP in a positive financial situation for years to come. Before you sign the most important contract of your life, turn to an experienced Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Contract Attorney for assistance.