Review of How to Start an Independent Practice by Carol R. Zaumeyer
Reviewed by Robert T. Smithing, MSN, NP
List Price: $49.95
Publisher: F. A. Davis Copyright 2003 ISBN: 0-8036-1058-0

This 308-page book is crammed with information that will be helpful to potential nurse entrepreneurs. The text is liberally interspersed with worksheets and resource lists to make the process more understandable for the reader. Generally this book is targeted at new nurse entrepreneurs rather than experienced ones. There are pearls scattered throughout the text that will benefit the experienced nurse practitioner entrepreneur. The marketing section has numerous examples of low cost marketing ideas that would work in any practice. Zaumeyer highlights the use of press releases as an under used method of marking nurse practitioner practices.

In an otherwise well done book Zaumeyer addresses the issue of collaborative relationships in one chapter. She states:
"In many states a collaborative or supervisory relationship with a physician is required to practice as a nurse practitioner. Some people believe this requirement is restrictive and the requirement should be removed, but I believe the collaborative relationship can e the best and most important relationship in your career. Your collaborative physician can be your best teacher and ally."

While I agree that nurse practitioners and physicians can be allies I strongly dispute her position on collaborative relationships. First and foremost, I believe that the best teacher and ally a nurse practitioner can have is with another nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners have a nursing practice not a medical one and we have different practice styles. I do agree that there is much that can be learned from an experienced clinician of any discipline. Zaumeyer was able to obtain collaboration with a wonderful physician it is an unfortunate reality that not all nurse practitioners are so lucky. While there are many individual physician supporters of nurse practitioners there are also large numbers of detractors. Organized medicine continues to work to restrict the practices of nurse practitioners, especially those in independent practice. This makes any requirement for collaboration overly restrictive. Nursing should not have a requirement for physician supervision any more than medicine should have a requirement for supervision by nursing. Strong relationships with other health professionals, including physicians is a must for any successful practice but this works better when the relationships develop naturally rather than being required by law.

This is a generally well-done book that deserves to be considered as an addition to the library of potential entrepreneurs

If you are interested in ordering this book, please go to the author's website!

Updated: May 25, 2004