Imagine a world where you’re your own boss.

Work when you want, as often or as little as you can afford.

Kids on half-term holiday? No problem. Take a week off and enjoy your time with them.

As a self-employed nurse working through MedicBank you’re in control. You don’t have a boss or a “manager” to whom you report. You select the shifts that suit you and your family.

You, of course, have to account for tax. But the tax burden working as a self-employed nurse is lower than working as an agency nurse.

Being a self-employed nurse creates fantastic opportunities in this age of job uncertainty and change.

For many workers, choosing to become self-employed brings huge challenges especially being able to generate a profitable income.

But freelance nurses, won’t have this problem.

Nurses have a huge advantage in terms of earning an immediate and profitable income and having a large variety of shifts and placements to choose from (assuming they are willing to put in the hours and of course available time).

Nursing shortages are unfortunately not a new thing.

Any nurse who decides to step into the world of self-employment will certainly be in demand and will no doubt be able to select from a range of assignments that they feel are right for them.

If you are considering becoming a self-employed nurse, check out this simple guide to what you need to do and think about, to help you get started on your journey:

1. Register

Register for Self-Assessment and Class 2 National Insurance as soon as soon as you can after starting your business. Click here to read the guidance from the website.

2. Meet with your local bank

Although not a legal requirement for anyone becoming self-employed (sole trader), having a separate business bank account will allow you to more easily identify and separate the earnings you have accumulated as a self-employed nurse.

This will make managing your accounts and records much simpler and easier when filling out your annual tax return.

If you do not want to have a business account, then a separate bank or savings account will still allow you to account for and manage your self-employment earnings.

3. Record your earnings and spending

Document your business earnings, outgoings and expenses accurately. Maintaining an account book so that you can easily record everything earned and all costs, is essential and make your life much easier.

4. Keep receipts

Keep receipts for essential expenditures and items, as a non- taxable portion of your income. This might include receipts for shoes/uniforms, washing/laundry expenses, mandatory training/study day costs, travel, professional membership and insurance fees.

5. Seek expert advice

Although this may sound extravagant to the newly self-employed nurse, there are many accountants who offer reasonable and attractive deals and services.

For a small fee, it could be worth letting a professional do the work, allowing you to avoid stress and hassle associated with paperwork and managing your own account books.

6. Complete annual tax returns on time

Currently, self-employed professionals who fill out their tax returns by paper have to submit them by October 31st of each year.

For online tax returns the deadline is January 31st of each year. Not filing a tax return on time can result in a fine which we all want to avoid!

7. Set a portion of your self-employed earnings aside

This is to cover the annual tax you are liable to pay and will prevent you having to pay a hefty lump sum all at once.

8. Keep your job as an employed nurse

Many people find the prospect of going it alone as a self-employed professional daunting at first. Being self-employed does not mean you have to give up your day job or the security and benefits of a traditional post.

As a self-employed nurse, you stay in control and have the flexibility to work the shifts that suit you.

9. Tax breaks

As a self-employed nurse, you are entitled to significant tax breaks.

You can claim back expenses such as mandatory training, NMC and DBS fees, professional indemnity, mobile phone bill, mileage up to 0.45p per mile etc….

If you want to read more about how you can offset your business expenses against your taxable profit, you can read about it here.


We’ve outlined some of the benefits of working as a self-employed nurse. Much of the above information relates to sole trader nurses, but if you feel confident, there is no reason why you can’t register as a Limited Company nurse.

You are not affected by IR35, which means you can continue working as a self-employed nurse through your Limited Company or as a Sole Trader.