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First Year NP

Transitioning Into the World of a New NP

Published September 13, 2013 8:09 AM by Katrin Moskowitz
As I sit here to compose my first blog post as a new graduate, I am feeling a bit bittersweet. The last two years have been long, adventurous, overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. Now it is time to regroup and make my post-graduation plans.

This past weekend I attended a board review class and as I sat there, I realized that things are getting real. Just six months ago I was worrying about transitioning into clinicals and making sure that I was following all of those evidence-based guidelines. Now I am working on studying for my school's exit exam and of course my boards so that I can start work as a family nurse practitioner. I am feeling some definite PTSD from when I graduated nursing school and was preparing for my NCLEX exam. What if I don't pass?

I am fortunate to have the added pressure of having a job waiting for me as soon as I have my NP license in hand. It is a great position in a freestanding urgent care center that is part of a hospital's multispecialty physicians group.

The fortunate part of this position is that I will be replacing a physician assistant who is not leaving until December. This allows for me to have an extended orientation and transitional period into my new role. This was something that was very high on my priority list of my first job. The last thing I wanted was to be thrown out into a new role, hoping that things would fall into place.

I will be doing all the normal colds and coughs, but will also be able to perform office procedures, interpret X-rays and EKGs and spend half of a day a week in a primary care setting. Ultimately, it is the best of both worlds for me. I also will be working twelve hour shifts during the week and every other weekend, affording me the ability to have days off during the week to attend to doctors appointment and school activities.

For any new graduate who is interviewing for a position, please make sure you go in prepared. I was fortunate to have had a great regional clinical faculty who sent me some great questions to ask during my interview. Some of these included:

  • Are there productivity incentives? (The more patients you see or the more services you bill for, the more money you get?)
  • Does urgent care have appointments or is it a walk-in only?
  • How would you learn procedural skills such as I&Ds, suturing, digital blocks?
  • How many other NPs/PAs are there in the department? (This will tell you if they are used to working with us.)
  • Will you ever be alone (even on weekends) or will there always be someone there with you?
  • Do most of the patients you see have a PCP or is it likely they will have to return to the urgent care for follow-up?
  • Do you have electronic health records?

During the interviewing process I learned that most entities work with contracts. These are very detailed and full of jargon that I had never been exposed to before. I was able to get a draft copy and review this over and over again in the comfort of my own home and then make a secondary list to review with the administration of the group. Don't make such an important decision without having time to do this.

This next year promises to be an exciting one for sure. I hope to learn many new lessons that I can share with my fellow new NPs or NPs to be. Only we know how hard we have worked to be where we are today.


It is wonderful to see all of you fellow Frontier students. As the NP programs become even more popular it is always important to network with each other. It is also interesting to hear from other programs as I am sure we all share in the same anxiety's!

Katrin Moskowitz September 26, 2013 8:52 AM

Awesome advice on interview questions to ask. I'm currently a FNP student, a little excited as well as nervous. I will be following for more great advice. All the best.

Lorraine Ingram September 21, 2013 1:33 AM

I am thrilled to see this! I am currently on the NP track at Frontier. So wonderful to see a fellow Frontier student sharing her experience of the first year! I will be following and taking the snippets of advice that you offer! Thank you for sharing!

Robin Argyle, ER - RN, Falls Community Hospital September 17, 2013 10:28 PM
Waco TX

Great advice! I am currently finishing my first semester at FNU in the FNP program so I will certainly be following you!

Beth, Hospice - RN September 17, 2013 7:58 PM
Baltimore MD

Thanks for the great advice for new providers. Contract negotiations are new to most of us and its hard to ask questions about something you're unfamiliar with. Can't wait to hear more from you.

Karen September 13, 2013 9:08 PM

Thank you Gwen! A long journey it will be I am sure. So glad that I will be able to help others in my position feel normal!

Katrin Moskowitz September 13, 2013 6:34 PM

Thank you for this reassuring article. I am looking forward to reading about your journey during your first year. I am a NP student currently. This is great!

Gwen Harper September 13, 2013 8:54 AM
Pittsburgh PA

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