Transitioning Into the World of a New NP
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
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,
- 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.