How to Write a Contract for Nursing Services

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An independent nurse contractor works on a contractual basis, not directly for a health care provider. This makes a well-written, mutually agreed-upon contract vital to a successful working relationship, between you and an ill or disabled client. The final contract must say in detail when, where, how and who gets the nursing service.

Client Information

Describe the client’s situation in the first section of the contract. Although it isn’t always necessary to include every detail, you should describe the nature and extent of the client's illness or disability. For example, you might say the client suffers from a terminal illness and is bedridden. This section should also state whether the client or a legal guardian is makes the health care decisions and contract payments. This section can also include rules of conduct, such as not taking advantage of or influencing the client, not writing checks for the client and not providing services outside the scope of the contract.

Hours of Service

State whether hours of service include an on-call requirement. If the contract has an on-call expectation, include your on-call hours and prior notice and response time requirements. You could agree to a standard four-day workweek with an option to work one evening per week with a two-day notice and be on call 24 hours every other weekend. Include a response time requirement, such as to be on-site within 30 minutes to one hour after receiving a call.

Payment Terms and Conditions

Include your payment terms for routine services during regular working hours and a variable payment plan for on-call or overtime hours. If you plan to charge a flat after-hours fee plus a higher per-hour rate for on-call hours, it must be in the contract. Also, include a clause that identifies who provides and pays for nursing and medical supplies. In addition, specify whether the client is to reimburse part or all of your transportation expenses.

Special Considerations

Be specific about whether the contract calls for personal and household services too. For example, state whether your duties include bathing, dressing and feeding the client. If you are providing household services, such as meal preparation or laundry, or escorting the client to doctor appointments, list these expectations in exact detail. If you're expected to handle the client's money to pay for household or other expenses, that must be listed in the contract agreement.