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Welcome to the ADVANCE for NPs & PAs blogs, part of the Healthcare POV: Blog and Forum Community from ADVANCE. Our blogs offer posts covering timely questions, advice and opinions about nurse practitioners and physician assistants, including career issues, education information, and help for new and student NPs and PAs. A list of our most active posts keeps you abreast of the latest discussions. We tag posts by topic so you can easily find posts that interest you. You can also edit your profile to make it uniquely your own to interact with your colleagues on the blogs. We look forward to hearing your voice.
April 14, 2014 9:44 AM by Debra Shelby of Dermatology Practice Today


Many nurse practitioners have asked me about dermatology protocols. They are no different from other protocols and should be an outline of your practice agreement with your supervising or collaborating physician.

These protocols should remain broad and general, but list important and specific aspects of your practice like prescribing higher risk medications such as isotretinoin, methotrexate, biologics, ...

April 14, 2014 8:31 AM by Caroline Pilgrim of First Year PA

If there's one thing most of us learned in our post-graduate training it was "semper Gumby" (translation: always flexible). And I have learned that lesson in my hunt for my first PA job. My last post ...

April 2, 2014 5:01 PM by Renee Dahring of Career Coach

I find myself thinking quite a bit about how much healthcare has changed since I was young and trying to figure out how it is that we have come to find ourselves in our current situation.

I just want to state, for the record, that I am not that old. I was a kid in the 60s and I had my children during the 70s and early 80s. I am not talking ancient history here, only the last 50 years. 

When I ...

March 19, 2014 2:47 PM by Renee Dahring of Career Coach

I was speaking to a group of spring graduates a couple weeks ago about how to create an effective resume. In my talks I emphasize the importance of both content and format. Those of you who are familiar with my website and my various articles will note that when it comes to resumes, I recommend a pretty standard format. 

After I finished my presentation, a soon to be new graduate raised her hand to ...

March 14, 2014 1:58 PM by Katrin Moskowitz of First Year NP

As I write this blog post I am sitting in a small dorm room on top of a mountain in Kentucky on the first day of my DNP orientation. I am back at my educational home: Frontier Nursing University. I will be honest with you in that I did not think that I would be here this soon after graduating.

Post graduate school I had educational burn out. Studying, clinicals, work and family had culminated to a boiling ...

March 6, 2014 12:32 PM by Caroline Pilgrim of First Year PA

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.  Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."  - Sir Winston Churchill

If you are a new grad and you haven't nailed down a job yet, I don't doubt you feel like you have applied everywhere. You ...

March 6, 2014 8:36 AM by Renee Dahring of Career Coach

Ready for my rant?

Over the past year or two, I've noticed an increase in physician groups engaging in negative campaigning directed toward NPs. Could it have always been present but I just hadn't noticed? Or is the negativity a reaction to the numerous bills that have been introduced in several states to remove barriers and allow fully independent NP practice? The conspiracy theorist in me suspects the latter. ...

March 5, 2014 10:26 AM by Mina Grasso of Aesthetics Practice Today

Hair loss can be devastating to both men and women. Various genetic and environmental factors can cause hair loss. Environmental factors may include chemotherapy, diet, nutrition, stress, hormonal shifts, autoimmune disorders and various illnesses due to imbalances

Treatment options for hair loss include magical topical lotions and potions, prescription medication and surgical procedures. A revolutionary procedure ...

February 28, 2014 9:39 AM by Katrin Moskowitz of First Year NP

Before I started my nurse practitioner program I was happy where I was in regards to my health. I was at a great weight, my diet had been free of any processed sugars and grains, and I was working out several times a week.

By the time I started clinicals in my primary care site I felt like a hypocrite. I had not been to see my PCP in 2 years, my gyn in 3, but I was up-to-date on my dental visits! My diet ...

February 25, 2014 4:17 PM by Kimberly Cray of Aesthetics Practice Today

If our eyes are the windows to our soul, then our eyebrows are most certainly the curtains. And it has been studied to be true - eyes are the first thing another person notices about our appearance. 

With all the care that goes into taking care of our eyes, I find that eyebrows are often overlooked. The shape of our brows is very specific to our face and with a little professional tweeking we ...

February 19, 2014 5:10 PM by Mina Grasso of Aesthetics Practice Today

One of the biggest skin challenges we encounter on a daily basis is melasma. Melasma appears to be most prevalent with darker skinned women, primarily Asians and Hispanics. 

I have seen a few Fitzpatrick II-III patients that present with it as well. Melasma usually presents somewhat in a symmetrical pattern involving one or a few areas such as the forehead, cheeks, jawline, upper lip and chin.

The ...

February 19, 2014 4:40 PM by Renee Dahring of Career Coach

I usually conduct a brief survey when I speak to groups about job searching. I ask participants to rank a list of topics to indicate where they feel they need the most assistance. The choices are: resumes, cover letters, finding job openings, negotiating and interviewing. Across the board the recipients choose negotiating to discuss. This holds true whether I query new grads or seasoned clinicians.  

The ...

February 5, 2014 5:50 PM by Renee Dahring of Career Coach

Dear Career Coach:

I am an experienced PA and was reading your resume tips for NPs. However, I'm wondering about your guidance on listing clinical rotations. You mentioned listing clinical rotations is only a good idea if you are a new grad NP. Do you think the same applies for PAs who have completed rotations in surgery and other procedural specialties? (ER, general, surgical, derm/plastics, ...

January 30, 2014 8:22 AM by Katrin Moskowitz of First Year NP

"Thank you" is one phrase that can change the outlook of your day. Last week while at work the office manager came up to my co practitioner and me. In her hands she held a letter from a patient, thanking the office for the great care that she received. The office manager eagerly asked us to see who saw her and I was surprised to find out that it was me.

I remember the patient well: An elderly patient who lives at ...

January 28, 2014 3:37 PM by Kimberly Cray of Aesthetics Practice Today

It's a rare occasion that a product gets me so excited that I would literally jump up and down in excitement talking about it. SkinMedica's TNS Essential Serum is one such product. 

My personal addiction to this product aside, TNS Essential Serum opened my eyes years ago to the world of growth factors and antioxidants. If you are not using growth factors, you should be. Growth factors, ...

January 22, 2014 9:45 AM by Mina Grasso of Aesthetics Practice Today

Juvederm Voluma with Lidocaine is the hot new filler for 2014. With the natural aging process we lose facial volume. Voluma was developed to provide more volume and lift in areas such as the cheeks,  cheekbones and chin which are areas of larger-scale volume loss.

January 17, 2014 10:37 AM by Katrin Moskowitz of First Year NP

In our urgent care there are four full time providers: three physician assistants and myself. Our medical director, a physician, comes in one half shift per week. As we enter a patient's room, we always introduce ourselves by our title. "Hi, I'm Katrin and I am a nurse practitioner." There is never any bait or switch and patients are aware of who we are right from the beginning. Even so, I am referred to as a ...

January 15, 2014 2:54 PM by Renee Dahring of Career Coach

During the course of interviewing for a new job you are sure to be asked for the reason you are leaving your current job. How you answer this question is important. Let me guide you through a little exercise to assist you in formulating your response. 

First, I would like you to make a list all the reasons you want to leave your current position. Maybe it's the work atmosphere or maybe your have a ...

January 9, 2014 2:45 PM by Harrison Reed of First Year PA

I sat in the airport terminal in November of 2012 and stared at my cell phone. I flicked the screen on and off as I waited out another wave of anxiety. I was about to place a call that would dictate the course of my life. At the time, I could barely comprehend the changes that would take place over the next year.

It would be the year that changed the way I looked at life. The year that changed the way I looked ...

January 8, 2014 10:23 AM by Mina Grasso of Aesthetics Practice Today

Over half of the US population is overweight. Most of us are considering again our old resolution for the New Year - losing weight. Fad diets that require severe calorie restriction have historically failed us long-term. Many of us lose weight with these diets temporarily, but then the weight comes on again, and is usually much more difficult to take off. The body goes into survival mode with severe calorie ...

January 3, 2014 9:45 AM by Katrin Moskowitz of First Year NP

My entire life, relationships have always been a struggle. Growing up as a child of the Army I learned to go into defense mode when it came to friendships. You knew that as soon as you became BFFs with another kid, someone was about to move to another state or country.

My entire career in ...

January 2, 2014 4:27 PM by Renee Dahring of Career Coach

For years I have counseled new graduates to hold off on applying for jobs not only until they had graduated, but ideally until they had a date scheduled to take their boards. I based my advice on feedback from employers. 

In many states, passing the boards would legally permit new grad NPs to practice, however they could not be credentialed by insurers until they were licensed. This would present a ...

December 27, 2013 2:22 PM by Marjorie Shanks of NP & PA Student Blog

Having the right mentor can be a valuable asset for healthcare students. But selecting the right mentor takes skill and time. Mentors are never more important to an aspiring professional than today in the healthcare field where the playing field is shifting. A senior advisor at your side can be an invaluable asset, so here's how to go about finding the right mentor.

When to find a mentor:

December 27, 2013 11:11 AM by Mina Grasso of Aesthetics Practice Today

The art of tattooing has been performed since ancient times and will continue to be performed for years to come all over the world. People get tattoos for a variety of reasons. Tattoos may be a loved-one's name, identify an individual belonging to a group, a symbol of a significant event in someone's life or something that seemed like a good idea during a rebellious time in someone's life. 

Laser technology ...

December 19, 2013 2:32 PM by Katrin Moskowitz of First Year NP

The last month has been a whirlwind. Each and every shift has provided me the opportunity to put my didactic lessons into play. Delegating has made my life easier and knowing what everyone in the office can and cannot do is immensely helpful.

The patient population has been good. Most patients are receptive and willing to listen to what you have to say. That is not to say that there are not those who ...



The ADVANCE for NPs & PAs blog offers analysis of and links to NP and PA professional issues and current healthcare events.

Share the trials and triumphs on the journey from rookie new graduate to experienced PA.

By reflecting on her own experiences as a PA student, Jenna hopes to reach others interested in the day-to-day life of a PA student.

Share the trials and triumphs of the journey to becoming an experienced NP.

If you're looking for your dream job or just want to know what's out there for NPs today, start here with the expert advice of nurse practitioners who specialize in placing NPs in good jobs.

This blog will highlight the latest technical tools that can be used in clinical medicine as well as tools for teaching clinical medicine in an academic setting.

DNPs and DNP students will share their experience with the doctor of nursing practice.

Read about new technologies that affect you in daily practice.

What are the latest trends in aesthetics? Our bloggers share their insight and experiences in this growing specialty.

Interested in dermatology or challenged by skin presentations in your practice setting? Dermatology Practice Today examines issues in skin care and skin disease.

NP and PA students have a clear voice here. Find out what your student colleagues are experiencing in their programs. Feel free to post comments and questions to add to the discussions.

This new NP will share the ups and downs of her first year in practice.

Share the excitement and nerves of the first year on the job with this new physician assistant.

The Politics of Healthcare covers the latest developments in healthcare policy and legislation.