Alright, this might seem like common sense and a no brainer, but as a nurse practitioner entrepreneur, you can EASILY forget to renew one of your licenses or certifications. Why? 2 reasons.
- You are focused on your business. As a business owner, your mental space only has so much capacity and you will find yourself forgetting “obvious” things in your life.
- When you are an employed nurse practitioner, HR and medical staffing typically will remind you within 2 months of your license/certifications expiring. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about it.
The biggest reason I have found for forgetting the renewals personally, has been number 2. When I was employed, I would be reminded by my manager. It rarely crossed my mind to renew my license because they reminded me of the renewal. I just focused on patient care and doing my job.
This is very important guys, because if you forget to renew your license, your business essentially closes down. Let me tell you a personal story about his happening to me:
My controlled substance license renewal comes up on the opposite years of every other license I have. This is super annoying, but it is what it is. For this reason, I forgot to renew it.
My medical assistant was placing an order with one of the compounding pharmacies I use, and the pharmacist stated “You do know his controlled substance license expires in 2 weeks right? We need an updated one after the 30th.” My medical assistant texts me this and my heart sunk.
CRAP! What I am I going to do? My practice literally requires the prescription of controlled substances (testosterone) and I also need to have an active controlled substance license to issue medical cannabis cards. Basically, I HAVE TO CLOSE ALL MY BUSINESSES until the renewal goes through. To say the least, I was scrambling…
I had to hop on the phone with the board of pharmacy and practically beg them to expedite my renewal. They said, “we will try.” Well, in my state the renewal is on good old fashion paper, so I had to fill this out, include the check, and overnight it to the capital. I was checking the tracking number hourly the next day. A wave of relief came over me when it changed from “in transit” to “delivered.” But now the waiting game happened…
I had about 12 days for the license to renew or I was closing the doors of my practice temporarily. I checked the status on the board of pharmacies website twice a day hoping the expiration date for my renewal would change. I am not joking, but 3 days before the expiration occurred, the license was renewed. THANK GOD! I was sweating bullets.
Anyways, the lesson of the story here is to NOT let your licenses expire as a business owner! If you are employed, FINE! You get to take a mini vacation (woohoo!), but it doesn’t work like that when you are self-employed. Therefore, you need to keep a close eye on those dates!
My recommendation is to put the renewal dates in the calendar on your phone RIGHT NOW. Set them 2 months before the actual expiration date. The great thing about phones, is that the calendars sync to the cloud, therefore if you lose your phone or get a new one, the dates will cross over.
Do this, and also set the dates on a calendar in your practice so you have 2 reminders.
If you do this, you will not forget to renew your licenses!
Also, don’t forget about your AANP/ANCC certification! Those last 5 years, therefore it can easily be forgotten. So, ensure you add that to your calendar as well.
This is a short article today as it doesn’t need to be long. Make it a priority to put these dates in your calendar. Trust me! You do not want to go through what I did. I was on edge for a solid week!