I've been a FNP for just about 5 years. My first job was in adult primary care at an urban community health center. 25-30 patients per 10 hour shift, 15 min for each appt, be it a headache or full physical with GYN. Lots of complex medical conditions, psychosocial issues, and very few resources. No lab on site, so always waiting days for lab results. Rarely took a lunch break, took work home every day because I never had time to complete my charting at work. Crappy administrators, huge patient panels, wonderfully supportive peers, and experience that I never could have gained elsewhere. I did burn out after 3 years and have since moved into a private specialty practice (asthma, allergy, and immunology). I now see anywhere from 10-20 patients per day for a narrow range of medical conditions. I have lots of time to spend with each patient and can do a lot of education. I work four days a week and have every Friday off. I have time to eat lunch and go for a walk during lunch. I deal with occasional emergencies, but most of the time things are pretty routine. I've had the opportunity to really focus on a small range of medical conditions, and not have to be all things to everyone like I was in primary care. I see both kids and adults now, which I love. I get to have a relatively stress free, normal life with this job, unlike my first job. It is definitely a sweet gig! I also work per diem in an Urgent Care center, just to keep my skills current (and make extra $$). Today I saw 3 people with acute sinusitis, 2 asthma exacerbations, did some chemical allergy testing on a patient, did 3 annual immunotherapy evaluations,2 routine follow up visits, and counseled a family with a history of alpha 1 anti trypsin deficiency. I took a few patient phone calls, reviewed some labs, and helped out the nurse with some allergy shots when she got backed up. That's a fairly quiet day. Things will get much busier once pollen season starts.
As far as looking up things goes, I look up stuff every day, and probably always will. There's always something you don't know, and more to learn. Patients don't always present the way textbooks say they will, so you have to use your head and know when you need more information. You get to know the dosages for common meds that you prescribe routinely, but it's impossible to know dosing for every med out there. I use epocrates and up to date as my main resources.