Having recently graduated from nurse practitioner school, choosing your first job in this role is tough. It’s fraught with a mix of tension, uncertainty, and happiness. New graduate nurse practitioners are still excited about forging a successful nursing career and working in a specialty that is fun, interesting, and self-actualizing. However, finding your first job can also be challenging. Being in a high demand profession can leave new nurse practitioners struggling to find the perfect opportunity (Thriveap.com, 2015). Experienced nurses usually rise to the top lists and leave fresh graduate ones struggling to locate jobs. However, fear not! This article guides you on how to choose your first job as a nurse practitioner.
- Be Selective
You don’t always have to jump into the first job that presents your way. It is essential to test waters first by checking out other places of employment. Make sure you critically examine your first job offers on a set of your criteria and then choose the one you feel most comfortable with and meets your standards. I strongly suggest that you interview all possible employment offers against a set of selection criteria and choose the most exciting place. Careers are all about one’s passion, so why not choose a place that you are happy to work?
- Know Your Worth
Being a newbie does not mean that you toil for pay that’s less than your worth. As a newly graduated nurse practitioner in demand, it is essential to choose a place that fairly compensates you for your services. Choose a location that presents nurses with an excellent compensation package and additional benefits such as career flexibility, job security, flexible work schedules, diverse job areas, and mental satisfaction. Research has shown that the financial growth of any employed person depends on their first salary.
I suggest researching the average NP salary in the market and selecting a salary that goes with the local industry standards. According to the 2020 Nurse Salary Guide, the average annual salary for Nurse Practitioners (NP) in the US estimates at $107, 480.
- Choose a Job Where They Provide Mentorship
Career growth is all about growing one’s experience in a field of work. As a nurse practitioner, getting advanced skills, talent, and abilities is imperative to avoid errors and healthcare mistakes (Myhealthtalent.com, 2019). Moreover, being fresh out of school comes with the disadvantage of being inexperienced in most areas. It is imperative to consider the various mentorship programs offered by the healthcare institutions when interviewing for a job. Most employers develop structured mentorship programs that assign new nurse practitioners to more experienced nurse practitioners or even physicians to learn from (Myhealthtalent.com, 2019). These programs tend to be very useful for NPs during their first year out of school. They offer you a map for navigating through most of the challenges encountered at work.
- Choose a Job Where You’ve Always Wanted to Live
Nurse Practitioners may have the freedom to travel which can create good memories and a great amount of mental satisfaction. NPs are always busy individuals whose spare time can be spent improving their social life, striving to attain a social work-life balance to alleviate the stress of work and ensure good mental health. It is essential to choose to work in an area that offers you the chance to be happy (Pascale, 2020). When selecting your first job, select a place you have always wanted to live in, whether in a big city or a rural area.
Nurse Practitioners have an advanced level of education compared to Registered Nurses, and this can benefit you. Therefore, their compensation packages come with additional benefits that will help you in the long run. Besides being in high demand, the worry of not finding a job should never hit you. Don’t be afraid to choose a job in an area that positively contributes to your life’s dreams. Let the employer pay for transportation and other moving expenses. Some large-scale companies fly their NP to interview and may even pay relocation expenses.
- Choose a Job That Will Let You Grow
When selecting your first job, it is crucial to choose a place that will assist you in safe and comfortable growth as a novice nurse practitioner. This can be attained by selecting an area where you get exposed to different patients ailing from diverse conditions. The latter avoids the urge to specialize quickly, allowing you as a nurse practitioner to gain essential skills, knowledge, and expertise in different areas (Pascale, 2020).
For instance, my first employment as a Psychiatric nurse practitioner entailed treating children and adults. This opportunity forced me to stay updated with current treatment modalities for both populations before pursuing adults only. Such diversification in areas of expertise becomes imperative if and when you want to change careers.
In summary, the healthcare industry is in shortage of Nurse Practitioners. New graduates from school should follow the following five tips that will quickly land you to your first job. Be selective, know your worth, choose a position where they have mentorship programs, consider one that offers you career growth opportunities, and finally, choose a job that lets you live where you’ve always wanted to be.
Indeed.com. (2019). How much does a Nurse Practitioner make in the United States? Retrieved from: https://www.indeed.com/career/nurse-practitioner/salaries
Myhealthtalent.com. (2019). 10 Job Hunting Tips For New Nurse Practitioners. Retrieved from: https://www.myhealthtalent.com/article/10-job-hunting-tips-for-new-nurse-practitioners-117
Pascale, D. (2020). 5 Pro-Tips on Finding Your First Job as an NP Grad. Retrieved from https://medsourceconsultants.com/5-pro-tips-on-finding-your-first-job-as-an-np-grad/
Thriveap.com. (2015). 6 Things No One Tells You About Being a New Grad NP. Retrieved from: https://thriveap.com/blog/6-things-no-one-tells-you-about-being-new-grad-np