Lifestyle and Careers

How To Become a Locums CRNA

Interested in being a Locums CRNA?

We’ve had the opportunity to connect with some other CRNAs recently who’ve messaged Meredith about what’s needed to become a Locums CRNA, so we thought we’d throw a very high level post together.  Meredith has been working fulltime as a Locums CRNA since October of 2018.  Over the course of the last 21 months, she’s worked in 3 different states for 4 different hospitals.  From her experience, the most challenging piece of being a Locums CRNA comes during the 1st week at a new facility.  That first week can certainly be stressful as she is diligently working to be acclimated to the environment.  After the 1st week, things get less cumbersome.

Experience

If you are fresh out of school, Locums likely isn’t the route for you…yet. Get some experience (trauma experience is great to have) first. Most places look for Locums with experience.  Generally speaking, it is best to have at least a couple of years under your belt before deciding to branch out into Locums work.  Most facilities who are hiring Locums CRNA’s need anesthetists who are ready to hit the ground running and outside of the initial week of ‘here’s where everything is’, these facilities are expecting you to be skilled and independent.

1099, Domicile, and a CPA

There’s a ton of information online and in forums, but make sure you always seek guidance from your CPA.  We cannot stress this enough.  Next to patient care, paperwork, expenses, and reporting quarterly taxes will become a hard requirement.  Since 1099 work is contracted, your agency will not submit Federal tax on your behalf.  It will be your responsibility to track your income and your expenses to your CPA so that you stay up to par with the IRS.  This CPA should reside in your Domicile state.  As a Locums CRNA, if you intend to travel out of your home state for work, you’ll need to ensure that you have a registered Domicile.  This is the address registered in your home state that you typically submit taxes from.  Since we travel via our RV, we have a domicile setup for reporting our taxes from our home state. Domiciles and How We Receive Mail

Disability, Liability, and Malpractice Insurance

Your hands are very valuable. For many CRNAs, school is expensive, the hours worked as a RN were long. It was a long road to get here. Disability insurance will protect your hands. (It’s also a business expense for taxes).  Many Locums agencies may include liability and malpractice insurance as you partner with them. Some CRNAs choose to have their own independent policies. Review both options & choose what you are comfortable with.  Depending on your current financial situation, these can be pretty expensive policies, but we will stress the important significance of having them.

State Licenses

Yes, they vary from state to state as far as requirements go. If you have a multi-state RN license that’s a great start, but you’ll need to research each state’s requirements for advanced practice. In some cases these licenses can take a couple of months to be approved. Plan ahead and give yourself time to receive them.  In some cases, you’ll need to follow up multiple times to make sure your application didn’t encounter some sort of delay.  It happens.

Take Advantage of CEU Conferences

CEUs can be a lot of effort, but plan a week inside of your contract to attend one of these conferences. You’ll stay up to date with most recent happenings, but it’s a good opportunity to network as well. Plus, you may get to travel somewhere new! (Also a business expense for tax purposes).  CEUs are every healthcare providers worse nightmare, but do something fun about it.  We attended a conference in Charleston, South Carolina in October of 2019 and we loved every minute.  We had plenty of time to explore Charleston, sight-see, etc.

All Inclusive Rates

As part of your contract, you’ll need to make sure that your living expenses are factored along with your hourly rate.  These should include rent, utilities, gas to and from the hospital, etc.  If you are partnering with a Locums agency, this makes it easier to negotiate what is needed for your living expenses and they bundle that in your contract that the hospital agrees to pay.

Organization

Scan and make copies of all licenses. Store them in the cloud (we use Dropbox).  As mentioned earlier in this post, you’ll be responsible for tracking your expenses, reporting your income to your CPA, and making sure all of your licenses and certifications are up to date.  We elected to store these in the cloud so that they can be accessed at anytime when needed, but can also be sent via email quickly should someone request them.

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