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Can I sign a nurse practitioner contract before I finish school?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2018 | Health Law |

One of the hottest job opportunities in the medical field right now appears to be nurse practitioners. According to standings compiled by U.S. News and World Report, nurse practitioner jobs rank within the top five in terms of best occupations generally and in health care specifically. The pay is high. So is demand. Indeed, solid employment growth is projected for years to come.

This could prompt many considering this as a career choice to wonder what their possible contracting options might be. Unfortunately, it’s hard to provide a simple answer. Every state has its own rules regarding this issue. Some states allow advanced-practice nurses to enter into contracts while in school, assuming licensure follows. Others require that a nurse have a current license to practice. Wisconsin is one of them.

Still, it is possible that a hospital or other health care employer could do some early recruiting and discuss possible job offers before a nurse graduates. To be sure about what the law demands and what options might exist, speaking with an attorney who understands the industry is strongly recommended. Not only can such a consultation help a candidate avoid possible legal trouble, it could also help bring focus to various issues that could be subject to contract negotiation later.

For example, someone just entering into the job market might be presented a contract that includes such attractive offers as student loan reimbursement. But sometimes that provision might be offset by a low-ball offer on pay or other benefits. The contract could also include stipulations that restrict the practitioner’s flexibility to make a change if the job doesn’t prove to be a good fit.

Regardless of the law on when a contract can be signed, no pen should be put to paper before the deal has been reviewed carefully to so all apparent positives are confirmed and potential negatives identified.

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