The search for my little niche in this nursing world...

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    I have been a nurse (RN, BSN) for about 10 months now. I'm currently working in critical care/step-down and I'm interested in grad school sooner than later. My top interests include FNP, NP-adult care, ACNP, and school nursing. I worked in a totally nurse-managed clinic that served mostly hispanic patients who knew no English. I LOVED IT, best experience within nursing so far. I moved to another state and I would love to job shadow, work, or volunteer with nurse practitioners, acute care nurse practitioners, and school nurses to try to get a better grasp of normal work activities before I invest a bunch of money in grad school.

    Would it be inappropriate to contact offices/schools in search of an opportunity to work/volunteer there? It seems like if college clinicals can do it that I could, but I'm not sure?
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    No, I don't think it's inappropriate to call and ask to shadow, volunteer or work in the fields you mentioned. The best way to go about figuring out what would be a good fit for yourself is to actually witness the day to day routines of different NP's in different areas of clinical practice. If there are no opportunities to work or volunteer, shadowing should be sufficient to help you form your opinions and hopefully, make a better decision for your future.
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    Get in touch with your local AP group -they may have a volunteer list of preceptors!
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    You mentioned school nursing...many districts desperately need substitute nurses. This is a great way to get a foot in the door and see what it is all about. Keep in mind your day can either be relentlessly boring or pull-your-hair-out crazy. During the boring times, keep in mind that once you are the regular nurse, you have a lot of other duties to keep you busy that the subs do not (screenings, shot records, staff/student education, etc.) Good luck!


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