9 Tips for Success on Your First NP Job

Posted By:   Posted On: February 23rd, 2018

NP writing a prescription

Well, you made it. You’re now a Nurse Practitioner and you are about to begin working. Are you excited? We’re excited for you and want you to take some of what we’ve learned from the NPs we have worked with over the years to heart as you prepare for your first NP job. Hopefully, with the advice in this article and from those around you, you will find your first experience in the field challenging in a way that allows you to grow while still loving your choice to be a Nurse Practitioner.

A Medical Team in Your Pocket

We have many pointers for you, but first, let’s give you some tools for your first NP job. Keep in mind that you will likely be on your own before you feel you are ready, and there will probably be many, many times you’ll be wishing you could consult with others while working with your patients. These two tools are going to help fill the gap, giving you reliable standard treatments and diagnosis guidelines. They are available as apps on your phone. Some employers provide one or both of these to their NPs, so check to find out if you’ll get one of these tools from your employer. If not, you probably want to look into getting one of them on your own.

Familiarity is Your Friend with Your First NP Job

You likely have other health practitioner experience of some kind. While all of the things suggested here will help you evaluate your job opportunities, the most important thing that you can do is to get an NP job in a similar field to that within which you’ve already worked. Taking on a new healthcare role and switching areas of practice is unnecessarily difficult. Another huge help will be if, by chance, you can get hired where you did your school rotations. This will allow you to be far more prepared as you will know the staff and procedures for that facility in advance.

Choose Wisely and Stay Put

Be careful selecting your first job because you should be committed to your new position for at least one year before considering another employer. The learning curve for your new profession will be intense, so staying in one place for at least a year will get you to a point where you can begin to feel competent in your new setting. Leaving your first job too soon can cause your second position to be just as jarring as the first.

If you would like to be placed in a Nurse Practitioner position with excellent pay and benefits, contact Desert Medical Careers at (602) 468-6300.

Patient Loads Vary Greatly. Find Out What Yours Will Be.

Ask these questions when you are being interviewed:

  • What will your initial daily patient load be?
  • Will you start out with a lower patient load and gradually build up? If so, how long will they give you before they expect you to carry a full load?
  • What patient load do they expect you to carry and do you have any say in your daily patient cap?
  • Does your potential employer accept same-day patients? If they do, how many same-day patients will you see per week?

You Don’t Want to be the First New NP

When vetting a new employer, find out how many new NPs they have had before you. How long ago was their last brand new NP? If you’re their first or it’s been a long time since they’ve had a first-time NP hire, they might have a more difficult time properly supporting you than you’d like.

Will You Have Access to Your Supervising Physician?

Is your supervising physician on site? If so, how many NPs does this physician oversee and how long has the physician been supervising NPs? You don’t want to be one of the first, no matter how kind the supervising physician is. You are new to the field, so you need a supervising physician that is used to working with new and experienced NPs in your practice.

Will You Receive Orientation Training?

This is something a lot of new NPs don’t expect and it can be a major shock, but many places will not train or orientate you. Many NPs will tell you that on their first day at a new job they were handed a prescription pad and told to start seeing their patients.

If this sounds like your perfect nightmare, you’ll need to be selective when looking for your first NP job. It is important to find out how the employer orientates new NPs. Do they train you for their specific needs? If so, how long? What’s the training entail? You’ll want to find out and you’ll want to let them know what you think you’ll need. MDs are different than NPs when they start their first job; they have had years of internship and residency work prior to becoming a provider. They have no way of knowing what you’ll need. Find out what they offer for training/orientation and let them know if you need more or something different. Also, keep in mind that if you are working in a specialty, you will likely get more training than a general practice NP would receive.

Once you are through with your training and are seeing patients on your own, what support will you have from the senior NPs and the staff? Is there a formal process in place to ensure you and everyone else at your new job will be fully supported?

Get an Expert to Help You.

You can find your first NP job on your own. Many do. However, we strongly suggest working with someone like us who has decades of connections in the healthcare industry and can listen to your questions, concerns, and needs and then connect you with your perfect first NP job. While there are many employment agencies and online services, we recommend you find a healthcare placement agency that will meet you face-to-face at least once and that specializes in placing healthcare workers. We believe these are two strong differentiators that make our placements so successful.

Trust in Your Knowledge. You’ve Got This.

Do your homework about your employment options before accepting a position so you know what you’re getting into and can walk into your first day with confidence. Also, no matter how prepared you are, new things will come up every day, even after years as an NP. So from the beginning trust in the education you’ve received and your own ability to treat patients with excellent care and sound judgment.

Are You Looking for a Position as a Nurse Practitioner?

Desert Medical Careers has a high demand for Nurse Practitioners in the Phoenix Metro Area. We place full-time and part-time healthcare positions. With over 20 years’ experience working with healthcare employees, DMC is an expert at matching healthcare workers with their ideal work environment. Contact DMC today at (602) 468-6300.