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Do you have any advice on how to open a licensed agency for non-skilled caregivers in New York?

Friday March 15, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I live in New York and am interested in opening a licensed agency for non-skilled caregivers. I have been approached by some franchises, but would prefer to do this alone so I can set my own standards. I would appreciate advice on how to proceed.

Future Entrepreneur

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Future Entrepreneur,

There are a number of franchise opportunities for non-skilled care giving services. The benefits of working with a franchise company are that you benefit from an established business model and reputation, including national advertising, and you receive ongoing training and support. For this you pay an initial franchise investment fee and royalties to the home company. The downside is that the franchise company has final say on the location and territory and you have to run the business according to their model without deviation.

Starting a similar business from scratch may take some additional research, start-up time and effort but you could, as you indicate, set your own standards and do things your way.

Contact an attorney, preferably a nurse attorney, to help you research what is required to open and run such an agency in New York. There are issues related to background checks, getting a business/agency license and caregiver training. Of course there are many legal and liability issues, including waivers and contracts. Find a nurse attorney through The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (www.taana.org), your local chapter of the American Nurses Association (www.ana.org), whether or not you are a member, or by asking around.

Here's a website that you should find helpful. At the bottom of the page there are additional links for state-specific resources www.caregiverlist.com/StandardsOfQuality.aspx

As posted on the above website, contact the following entities for additional help: The Private Duty Home Care Association of America (www.PDHCA.org) is a trade association of home care providers that works toward helping senior home care agencies with all business matters to assist clients to age in place.

Find others with a similar business in a noncompeting geographic area and make an appointment to speak with them to get some tips and advice. You can find people like this through state business associations such as chambers of commerce, the National Association of Women Business Owners (www.nawbo.org) and through an Internet search.

Contact the National Nurses in Business Association (www.nnba.org) for additional resources, support and advice.

Best wishes,
Donna


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.