Where the Journey Begins
There are three little letters that every nurse ‘loves' to hear: AMA.
I think I had one of my most difficult patients today in a long time. She wanted to leave against medical advice while actively bleeding from her radial artery. Yeah, it was messy situation in more ways than one. Today just reaffirmed my desire to pursue my degree and step away from bedside nursing.
Sometimes it's the little things we have to look forward to as we complete our programs and step out into the world as a nurse practitioner. But what can we reasonably expect? What am I working so hard to achieve? What will I do when I graduate?
The first thing that comes to mind is salary. Let me get paid to deal with these patients. So, what can you realistically anticipate to be paid as a NP? According to salary.com, the average expected earnings are $98,018. I think most of us would agree that is a good solid income. This may help to pay back some of these lovely student loans.
Specialization is my next favorite topic. What do I get to specialize in? NPs can work in any department or specialty you can imagine - from pediatrics to emergency to cardiology to oncology, NP's can run the gamut. You can pick what field tickles your fancy. I think I may work in family practice because that is what I find the most interesting. I want to care for the patients from the time they are born to the end. I want to visit them at their homes. One of my favorite mentors, Kitty Ernst, says, "You never really know your patients, until you see where they live."
What else can I look forward to as an NP? I can teach. I can open my own practice. I can get into research. There are so many opportunities waiting for me. I just have to keep up the momentum. Stay organized and look towards the future! Do not let the little things stop you from achieving your goal. Once you reach it, you'll look back on those three letters and they have a new meaning: Attitude Makes Altitude.