The end of your studies as a nurse practitioner can be both an exciting and demanding time.
But as with anything that life throws your way, taking the advice of those that have traveled down the same path before you is crucial.
We here at NP PA Recruiters know how you feel. That’s why we’ve come up with eight solid tips that can correctly steer you toward a successful career path that alleviates the unnerving feeling of post-graduation uncertainty.
- Continue to Study
The books shouldn’t close once you’ve graduated. The life of a nurse practitioner is one of plenty of study nights and that is how it should remain.
The medical field is an ever-changing realm and it is best to keep up-to-date. One way to stay sharp is through many of the continuing education programs that are available online and through universities.
Don’t be afraid to explore information that is outside of your specialization. These courses can offer you a learning experience that can fill in the holes of what you consider to be your weak points.
- Subscribe to One or Two Medical Journals
As the medical world advances, journals like UpToDate, Medscape, and Epocrates are a refreshing source of information.
Subscribing to one or two journals in your area of study can provide you with plenty of new information about unfamiliar diagnosis or any new medications that are entering the patient world.
Having this wealth of knowledge doesn’t just make your role as a healthcare provider easier but it adds to your marketability as well.
- Polish Up Your Resume
It may benefit you to sit down and do a little soul searching. And no we don’t mean in that existential crisis type of way.
Ideally, you should be analytical about your past work experiences in the medical field and how well those skills can translate to the demands of a job posting.
Search deep within all your years of experience and list relevant skills on a piece of paper. Consider how you can communicate those abilities in a manner that sets you above your competitors and meets the requirements of the job.
Of course, don’t make up an experience for the sake of placing it on your resume. That kind of dishonesty can ruin your reputation and make it harder for you to land a job.
Once you have completed your list, polish up your resume and check out the NP PA Recruiters job board.
- Consider An Alternate Route
If you haven’t heard from HR yet, or if you feel that you lack experience, consider other positions like a research assistant or one dealing with data entry. All of the experience gained is still relevant to your skill set.
Plus, you get the added benefit of getting to know the administrative and managerial teams, as well as building critical people skills.
If the administrative level isn’t for you, and you prefer to be more in the “trenches”, group homes, elderly care facilities, correctional facilities, and hospices all require a NP’s expertise.
Volunteering for the Red Cross can also reinforce a weak resume.
- Explore Becoming a Pro Re Nata Nurse Practitioner As Another Option
Don’t shy away from working outside of your specialization as pro re nata.
Pro re nata translates to “for the affair born”. In a medical setting, it means as needed or as the situation arises.
Think of this option as becoming a sort of “substitute teacher” for the nursing world. NPs working in this designation do not have schedules and are called in when needed, usually when a nurse is out sick or on leave.
The pay is often higher than full-time positions and has the added benefit of a flexible schedule that goes great with graduates still in school looking to network and get some experience.
The downside, however, is that you will not get benefits or paid time off. It’s also worth noting that an RN license is required.
If you are able to take this sort of position, remember that experience is experience, even if it is outside of your specialization. Don’t make the common mistake that recent grads do and turn down work because it is outside of their specialization.
- Do Your Homework Before The Interview
A good way to impress the hiring manager is to show your versatile knowledge of certain diagnoses.
Before your interview, list all the diagnoses that you are able to handle. A little bit of studying as a refresher wouldn’t hurt either.
Come time for the interview, you will be able to keep pace with the recruiter and showcase the knowledge and skills you’ve gained during your studies and professional experience.
Also, don’t forget to ask pertinent questions.
One question that we highly recommend is to ask what the top 10 diagnoses are at the practice you are applying to. This will give you a general idea of how closely your current skill set and the practice’s needs are matched.
Of course, if you don’t know some of the diagnoses that the practice requires aid with, study them after the interview in case you do get hired.
Don’t forget to verbalize your set of skills. Highlight your ability to deal with families in a crisis and how you can work effectively with limited resources. Also, mentioning your ability to supervise professionals and paraprofessionals can be music to a recruiter’s ears.
- Make A Friend
Try to find another NP or a doctor that enjoys teaching and guiding young employees. Since the volume of knowledge can be quite large and intimidating for a recent grad, this is one of the greatest resources to have for someone who is feeling overwhelmed.
Real time help with a diagnosis can ease off that novice feeling over time.
Are You Unsure About Your Next Career Step? Check Out The NP PA Recruiter Job Board Frequently To Find The Perfect Job Today!
At NP PA Recruiters, we want to make it easier for you to practice what you love.
Contact us today at (956) 772-1400 or (214) 351-3880 to see how we can help you. And don’t forget to check out our job board!