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How can an RN determine if his job is considered a contractor or employee position if the person hiring him is not sure?

Thursday August 7, 2014
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Dear Donna,

I was offered a family nurse practitioner position after my graduation. I don't have any benefits except two weeks personal time off, including sick pay, I asked my employer if I can be a contractor (form 1099) instead of W2 employee. My employer is not sure if my employment should fall into contractor or employee, so asked me to do some research.

I will work as a family nurse practitioner at a private physician clinic. I will either work 40 hours full time or 32 hours at his office and another eight hours at another clinic. I will sign a contract for two years. The employer will provide me the malpractice insurance. I have searched IRS website but it is not clear. I searched jobs online and there are some clinics that do offer contractor positions.

1099 Versus W2

Dear Donna replies:

Dear 1099 Versus W2,

Whether you work as an employee or contractor, depends on several things. Here's an explanation from the Small Business Administration about the difference between the two (http://www.sba.gov/content/hire-contractor-or-employee). You can also check with your state department of labor on this. Do an Internet search for"[your state] department of labor" and give them a call. They are usually very responsive and helpful.

Additionally, you should check with your state chapter and national office of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (www.aanp.org). This is exactly the type of situation where your professional associations can be a great asset to you. You should belong to that association anyway but you can consult them whether you are a member or not.

Your prospective employer can also check with her/his accountant and/or attorney on what would be appropriate in your case. If necessary, you can consult a nurse attorney (at the employer's expense) in your state about the most appropriate work relationship in this case. You both want to be sure to get it right so you are compliant with your state and federal employment and tax laws.

Best wishes,

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://www. Nurse.com/Events.