Responding to Fewer NP Job Posts
Over the last few months I have watched the job market for NPs shrink steadily, each week I see fewer and fewer ads. The Sunday "healthcare" job section has gone from several pages in length to just a few columns, and typically only 1-2 of all the ads are looking for advanced practice nurses. Wages appear to be flat lining as well, it's been a long time since I have seen employers touting big sign on bonuses or relocation incentives. And when it comes to layoff and cutbacks, NP's no longer feel immune in this new economy. I hear stories daily from colleagues who have experienced - or are expecting - a decrease in hours and/or salary.
My late father, who was a young man during the great depression, always used to say to me "Never depend on someone else, you need to be able to take care of yourself." Folks like my father, who have lived through tough economic times, never really feel secure again. They know the value of a backup plan, no matter how sound or stable they may view their current situation.
I encourage you as an NP not to keep all your eggs in one basket. I am probably starting to sound like a broken record, but try to expand outside the clinical box. As NPs we are among the fortunate, as our background and education will allow us always have a "back-up" plan if we keep an open mind and do a little planning.
Do you have an expertise in a specific clinical area or heath topic? Consider teaching or writing continuing education programs. Local colleges and NP organizations are often looking for presenters, especially for local conferences. Don't forget nursing conferences, as an NP you are the "expert" and will be welcomed at their educational events.
Do you like to write? Contact your local health publications or community newspapers that run short health related articles and editorials and find out how you can become a contributor. There are also Internet sites like www.ehow.com where authors can publish and sell articles on topics of their choice.
Look into guest lecturing or even teaching a class at a local community college. Many have undergraduate programs in nursing and are looking for part time instructors.
Oh yeah, and don't forget blogging!