Starting a private practice is no easy task, but it can certainly be done! The graduate program I enrolled in was “Entrepreneurial” based, meaning I wrote a business plan and was required to take finance classes. The program I graduated from was awesome, and I learned how to be an effective, evidence-based Registered Dietitian… but I was not prepared for how much learning I had YET to do and learn as a business owner! I knew I wanted to start my own private practice before I even started grad school, so I started to learn from my family, friends, the Small Business Association, YouTube, social media, and other RDs. Let me tell you, I was not ready to start my private practice, and I did not feel 100% ready to go. I had picked a date to start, and as that date got closer I got nervous but I started anyway! You may not feel ready or fully confident, but you have to go for it! There are so many moving parts to starting a business, and there is no perfect way to do it. However, there are a TON of resources out there to set you in the right direction!
If you want to have a private practice as an RD, you really do just have to start! I suggest you utilize SCORE through the Small business association (SBA) in your area. SCORE gives you free business mentoring that will help you set up a business plan, develop a marketing plan, offers webinars and classes, and in-person business development. You can connect with the SBA and SCORE before you take the exam if you like. Once you pass the RD exam, check out what licensing you need in your state and town. You will need an NPI number. If you are a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there is group insurance through Mercer/Proliability that has a discounted rate for first year RDs. Once you have your licenses, NPI and insurance, you will want to do the following:
Every day I learn something new. Every day I work on at least one thing to make my business bigger, better and stronger. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but doing these things will help you move forward to owning the practice you deserve!
Jessica’s blog post can also be viewed at: https://jessicadorner.com/2019/08/starting-a-private-practice-as-a-dietitian-how-to-simply-start/
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