Private practice

Who is a Private Nurse Practitioner?

  • Any Registered Professional Nurse or Midwife who provides nursing care in the private sector in an independent position
  • A general nurse / midwife in the Pharmacy or doctor’s rooms
  • A general nurse providing care or education in a setting other than as a fulltime salaried employee.

Full membership of SPNP is open to Registered Professional Nurses who have their own PCNS practice number issued by the Board of Healthcare Funders, while those without practice numbers are welcome as Associate members. Corporate members are companies or agencies who have an interest in the private nursing practice sector.

Information for those wanting to go into private practice

There are currently no addition legislative requirements for a Registered Professional Nurse to establish a private practice, other than current registration with the SA Nursing Council.
In setting up a practice it is essential to define the clinical areas in which you plan to work, as well as the geographic areas and times you will cover. This is a decision which can only be made by yourself, and will depend on the outcome of the community survey / needs analysis which you should undertake before you enter into any contractual arrangements.
To establish a private practice, it is essential to consider the commitment which one is undertaking.
1. Availability : Having identified your practice, you need to commit yourself to the concept of providing a high standard of service to your clients on an ongoing basis.

It is not advisable to stretch yourself too thinly either geographically or in terms of the services you provide, as you may find yourself spending more time travelling than working.

Provision of after-hours services: It is also important to find a colleague with whom you can share after hours and weekend call, or cover should you be ill as the service should be available to clients on an ongoing basis.

Exclusions:
Enrolled Nurses and Auxillaries may not become private practitioners, but may only work through agencies or in the employ of an RN.

Should you wish to employ staff on a contractual basis, you will be required to register as an Agency with the Dept of Labour and Dept of Health.

The SANC address is:
P O Box 1123, Pretoria 0001
Telephone: 012 343 0121
E-mail: registrar@sanc.co.za

2. Billing & Fees:   To expedite payment of accounts by Medical Schemes and the Road Accident Fund, it is important to obtain a PCNS number from the Board of Healthcare Funders of SA as a Practitioner, Practice or Agency. They will require a payment and completion of a form, after which you will be given a practice number, which must appear on all your communications.

The BHF address is:
P O Box 2324, Parklands 2121
Application for a practice number is available on their website www.bhfglobal.com/application-a-practice-number

Or contact Client Services on 0861-302010, by facsimile on (011) 880-5959 or 086-6073703, or e-mail: clientservices@bhfglobal.com

3. Insurance: 

Indemnity insurance, although not compulsory, is a basic essential for any practitioner as a means of obtaining legal assistance and protecting your assets in the event of a complaint.
Indemnity insurance available to members of DENOSA in their primary place of employment.  If you have more than one source of income / employment, it is recommended that additional insurance is obtained.  In addition one can take out additional insurance cover through DENOSA should you be practising in a high-risk area such as home births or OPAT.
Indemnity insurance is also available to members of the Occupational Health Nurses or certain private companies through the organisation but these often do not provide cover if you are working in a setting other than the organisation listed with the insurer.  Please ensure all areas of practice are covered.

INDEMNUS  and ACCU PROF are private insurance companies which offers indemnity insurance to private practitioners.

It is essential to note that in most instances, employer based indemnity insurance, as well as Denosa, only provide cover if an event occurs in your primary place of employment.  These policies will not necessarily cover you if you are working at a secondary or private employment site.

Please ensure that your insurance will provide cover for services which are rendered as an independent private practitioner.

DENOSA:
P O Box 1280, Pretoria 0001
Telephone: 012 343 2315

INDEMNUS:
141 Monument Rd / weg 141
Aston Manor, Kempton Park, 1619
P O Box / Posbus 10121, Aston Manor, 1630
Tel. +27 (0) 11 391-2118
Fax +27 (0) 11 391-2158
Cell. +27 (0) 82491-5218
E-mail Mail@indemnus.co.za

Addition forms of insurance which needs to be considered is Income Protection Insurance to cover expenses should the member become ill and unable to work;  public liability and short term insurance for  premises and equipment.

4. Dispensing licenses:   Licensing to prescribe and dispense medications are issued on a limited basis by the National Department of Health but these are restricted in the absence of additional regulations.   Midwives planning to do home deliveries may be required to register with the Local Authority for a permit. Current legislation, s38A, or the intended replacement s56(6) does not apply to nurses working in the private sector.

Section 22C(1)(a)  is application to Dispense Medicines and is linked to the scope of practice and section 38A of diathe Nursing Act, linked to diagnosing and prescribing.

Section 22A(15) application to concession or permit to hold Medicines for administration purposes and applies to Midwives, vaccines and other S1 and S2 medications, medicines for emergency trays and other listed medications which may require a prescription from a medical practitioner.

Practitioners should note that being in possession of a Primary Health Care qualification and a Dispensing qualification , or  authorisation linked to a previous or existing position, do not provide automatic authorization to prescribe the full range of EDL medication as described in  S38(A) of the previous Nursing Act or S56(6) of the Nursing Act of 2005.  

5. The regulations relating to advertising are restrictive, but the Society is in discussions with various authorities regarding a possible review.  All advertising and tendering is still contrary to SANC regulations.  (NOTE: The new Acts or Omissions appear to prohibit all forms of advertising.  This is being clarified by the Society  Jan, 2015)