What You Should Know About an (NP) Nurse Practitioner Non Compete Clause
We count on them to be there for us in our moments of need. We expect they will deliver the highest quality of care and perhaps even save someone’s life when necessary. They are nurse practitioners.
This noble profession is one that many people say that they are called to. They feel from an early age that they want to help people, and nursing is seen as a great way to fulfill that calling. That should all be good news for the profession as there should never be a shortage of people lining up to take on this sometimes challenging job. However, that is not the case. Currently, the nation is experiencing a shortage of qualified nurses, and that shortage is only expected to grow in the coming years. By 2025, the shortfall is estimated to be between 200,000 and 450,000 nurses if measures are not taken to fix the situation.
These numbers are frightening for society as a whole, but they provide solid evidence of job security for nurses entering the field at this time. These facts should give them strong proof of their value to the organization they go to work for when negotiating a contract. Even if the nurse has to sign a non-compete clause, they may still have significant leverage over the contract process. That leverage is strengthened further when they call upon the services of a nurse practitioner contract attorney to help them view their proposed contract line by line.
What is a Non-Compete Agreement?
A non-compete clause, also known as a restrictive covenant, is a section of one’s contract agreement that stipulates that the signing employee may not work for a competitor for a particular time as defined by the contract. Additional stipulations may include the following:
- Location-Based Restrictions – Some contracts may include riders detailing where an employee may or may not work based on location. In other words, an agreement may state that the nurse is not permitted to work for any other hospital within a 25-mile radius. This is yet another way that employers can keep their employees from jumping ship.
- Specific Competitors – Occasionally, it is just easier for an employer to spell out which competitors an employee is not allowed to go to work for while under contract. This makes it clear which specific companies they target, which is helpful in many ways. At least with this information, an employee knows which lines they are not meant to cross, and they can ensure they remain within the bounds of what is expected of them.
This clause is binding in the contract, and an employee violating a non-compete clause could be in serious legal jeopardy as far as their job is concerned. They will likely be terminated and may give up any other benefits previously agreed to. This is an excellent reason to have an attorney look over an agreement like this before signing anything. They need to check that everything contained within the contract is legal and ethical, including any malpractice insurance language.
What Does One Gain by Signing a Non-Compete Clause?
You might wonder what is in it for you when you sign a non-compete clause. After all, if you are going to sign something that is so binding, you probably want to have some upsides to doing so. Fortunately, there are a number of reasons why this can be beneficial to you.
First, employees who sign agreements that contain this clause are often looking at accepting a job that will likely provide them with more job security than they might have received elsewhere. Why? Because employers won’t typically bother with a non-compete clause unless they want to invest significant resources into an employee. Given the nursing shortage we discussed above, it is evident that most medical facilities will be interested in holding on to as many of their nurses as they possibly can at this time.
Also, a non-compete clause is something that you can potentially use as leverage to enhance your contract. You may say to an employer:
“I will agree to sign a non-compete clause, but I will require the following benefits to be included…”.
This puts the ball in the hands of the employer to decide what they want to do. Before you lay out your list of demands, have a nurse practitioner contract attorney review those items with you to ensure that they are realistic and included in the finalized contract.
How Much Does an Attorney Cost? Is it Worth it?
No one can fault you for thinking about the potential cost of hiring an attorney to review your contracts for you. The mere prospect of having to shell out money in order to receive a complete review of one’s contract is daunting. However, it would be best if you considered the cost-benefit analysis of making such a move. Doesn’t it make sense to proceed with your contract review if you know that doing so could save you from signing a contract that costs you a significant amount of money?
A few hundred dollars is not insignificant, but it is also a tiny amount compared to the ramifications of signing a bad contract. The lack of certain benefits alone could cost an employee thousands of dollars annually!
Hiring a lawyer to review your contract is a one-time cost with significant potential upsides. Considering this, it makes sense that you might want to get one hired immediately to take care of this situation for you.
We are Here to Help
Nurses, if you are considering signing a professional contract with a new employer, we want to help. Please contact us and allow our office to set you up with someone who can review the documents that have been presented to you. We want to ensure that everything that your potential future employer is offering you is in your best interest. Get in touch today to get the process started.
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