I am a 61-year-old RN still working full time in a hospital. I have moved to a gated adult retirement community and have many opportunities to provide caregiving services to some of the elderly people who live here. Can I promote myself for caregiving services for pay, such as assisting with ADLs and going to doctor’s appointments with them to help them understand their orders, etc. I don’t want to jeopardize my nursing license but I would love to help these people and be able to obtain a small income from it. What do you think?
Interested In Community Caregiving
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Interested In Community Caregiving,
Not only can you do this but many nurses (and non-nurses) across the country already are doing this. It’s a new specialty often referred to as a care manager or patient advocate. There is a growing need for this type of service as the population ages and more people with chronic illness and disability stay in their homes. Learn more about it by visiting the website of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (www.caremanager.org). Contact them for information and resources. See if there’s a local chapter or network in your area.
Before offering such a service, it’s always a good idea to check with a nurse attorney to make sure there are no quirky laws in your state, including those related to your nurse practice act, which would prohibit or restrict you from doing this. A nurse attorney also can help you draft the proper client contract or waiver to use. Find a nurse attorney by asking around, getting a recommendation through your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (www.ana.org), which you can obtain whether or not you are a member or by referral through The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (www.taana.org).
Be sure your nursing liability insurance covers you for this service before moving forward. Contact the National Nurses in Business Association (www.nnbanow.com) for additional resources and support.