Is taking an occupational health NP job as a new grad advisable??

  1. Hello everyone!! My name is Cynthia, and I just graduated from a family NP program last December! I have a job offer from a major corporation for an full time NP position that is predominantly occupational health! They pay well, and initially they hired me only as a per diem NP because they had a candidate that had more experience than me. But that candidate for whatever reason fell through, and they extended a full time offer to me AFTER I have accepted another full time offer in primary care that pays 22K less.

    My question is, and I understand how starting primary care as a new grad is a great route because it is basically an umbrella where it leaves me many options later to move into a different field because I know that I will not want to stay in primary care long term. Occupational health is very interesting to me, but I also understand some would be concerned that I will pigeonhole myself and it will be very difficult to come out of it looking for other NP positions not in occ health.

    Having said all that, do you guys think it could be a good choice for a new grad to go into occupational health? Or it is a big no-no even if the salary is much higher than other primary care job offers I have received?

    Are there any of you out there that started occ health NP as your first job after graduation? If not, are any of you an occ health NP and what do you think of the field and its future trajectory?

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   AZ-RN
    I think you pretty much laid out the major pro's and con's of taking a job in a setting like occupational health. It will potentially limit your future job opportunities, but might be a job you really like. I just recently graduated from an FNP program as well and had to decide between a job for a contract group working in the ED and taking a job - that seemed really interesting - in a spine and sport clinic. Pay was a factor (obviously more working for the ED group) but the biggest decision point for me was basically the fact that hopefully I will be able to go anywhere once I have some experience in the ED.
  4. by   CynCyn26
    Thank you for your response! YEAH it was giving me ALLL the butterflies and stomachaches just to try to really think about what I want, what I like, and what choice I should make. In my experience here in California, getting an offer for an NP position was not as hard as I thought it was going to be, and it seems the market is REALLY really good for new grads looking for NP jobs. I would say half of the opportunities I had were around 90K, and the other half is 100K+. The primary care job with a 6 month training program that I took pays 110K, but the new offer of occ health is 132K. It is such a hefty difference that it naturally has more sway, not to mention that I loved the facility and think it'd be a great place to work. I am primarily worried that I am making a wrong career choice, that if I leave this company in a few years, then no one will want to hire me back in primary care. I actually had a chance to speak with a few of my mentors, but they said that there is enough overlap between occ health and primary care that after a couple of years, it shouldn't be a problem getting a primary care job should I choose to do that. So there's that! Contratz though on your job with the ED group, HOW EXCITING!!

    I do wonder if there are any occ health NPs out there that can talk a bit about how they like their job and its flexibility and work-life balance??
  5. by   core0
    Quote from CynCyn26
    Thank you for your response! YEAH it was giving me ALLL the butterflies and stomachaches just to try to really think about what I want, what I like, and what choice I should make. In my experience here in California, getting an offer for an NP position was not as hard as I thought it was going to be, and it seems the market is REALLY really good for new grads looking for NP jobs. I would say half of the opportunities I had were around 90K, and the other half is 100K+. The primary care job with a 6 month training program that I took pays 110K, but the new offer of occ health is 132K. It is such a hefty difference that it naturally has more sway, not to mention that I loved the facility and think it'd be a great place to work. I am primarily worried that I am making a wrong career choice, that if I leave this company in a few years, then no one will want to hire me back in primary care. I actually had a chance to speak with a few of my mentors, but they said that there is enough overlap between occ health and primary care that after a couple of years, it shouldn't be a problem getting a primary care job should I choose to do that. So there's that! Contratz though on your job with the ED group, HOW EXCITING!!

    I do wonder if there are any occ health NPs out there that can talk a bit about how they like their job and its flexibility and work-life balance??
    While $20k is quite a bit of money, there are other factors.
    1. You have already accepted the other job. Depending on your area this has implications. In our organization if you accept then renege you go on the do not hire list. Also people talk. Depending on how the primary care practice cares about you bailing you could have trouble getting a primary care job later.
    2. Don't underestimate the value of a training program. Most occupational med is very procedure driven and very high volume. Does the occ med job offer the same training program? Does the primary care job offer an opportunity for more salary after the first six months.
  6. by   CynCyn26
    Hi core0, you are ABSOLUTELY right there are other factors for sure! I was totally not aware that some places can have people on a no-hire list. The responses I received back from the company after I renege is that they wish me luck and to let them know if anything changes. But thank you for the word of caution...I honestly did not think about that too much!

    The main reason I had a really really difficult time deciding was because of the training program. The 6 month training program pays 88K and then after the 6 months I get paid the 110K salary. And I do know that it is lucky we even have a training program that pays that much as many of my cohort mates are being paid much less for opting for a training program that transitions into full practice.

    The occ med position I took I am mainly trained by the medical director there and we communicated on numerous occasions where she had let me know she wants to work closely with me to train me on everything including suturing, steroid injections, doing spirometry, audiometry testing, etc as she knows I am a new grad. The practice is still expanding so she says that right now we both will see a maximum of 7 patients each, and that there is time and space to get me up to speed as this is my first full time position. It was through visiting the place, speaking in depth with the nurse manager and the medical director there that made me feel more confident that I am making the right move. ::TAKES DEEP BREATH:: but you are absolutely right...we would have to see.

    Do you have exp working in occ health as an NP?

    Or if anyone else has experience as an occ health NP, can you please speak to it a little bit?

    THANKS!!
  7. by   CynCyn26
    Hi core0, you are ABSOLUTELY right there are other factors for sure! I was totally not aware that some places can have people on a no-hire list. The responses I received back from the company after I renege is that they wish me luck and to let them know if anything changes. But thank you for the word of caution...I honestly did not think about that too much!

    The main reason I had a really really difficult time deciding was because of the training program. The 6 month training program pays 88K and then after the 6 months I get paid the 110K salary. And I do know that it is lucky we even have a training program that pays that much as many of my cohort mates are being paid much less for opting for a training program that transitions into full practice.

    The occ med position I took I am mainly trained by the medical director there and we communicated on numerous occasions where she had let me know she wants to work closely with me to train me on everything including suturing, steroid injections, doing spirometry, audiometry testing, etc as she knows I am a new grad. The practice is still expanding so she says that right now we both will see a maximum of 7 patients each, and that there is time and space to get me up to speed as this is my first full time position. It was through visiting the place, speaking in depth with the nurse manager and the medical director there that made me feel more confident that I am making the right move. ::TAKES DEEP BREATH:: but you are absolutely right...we would have to see.

    Do you have exp working in occ health as an NP?

    Or if anyone else has experience as an occ health NP, can you please speak to it a little bit?

    THANKS!!
  8. by   lauris4luv
    I wish i could be of help but i have no experience yet as a NP. I know someone who did occ health as a NP though and she loved it. She does 12hrs shift, i remember she told me its like urgent care with the kind of patients she encountered.
    This is just a question not related to the topic though. As a new grad how is the job market for NPs? i gradute in 3 months and we are considering relocating to Southern Cali. Is the pay good? I want the move to be fruitful if i have to relocate. Thanks for your time
  9. by   CynCyn26
    Hi lauris4luv! The job market from what I experienced has been pretty amazing! So I am from the Bay Area, just graduated back in December, and I have been looking for jobs while studying for exam (Took it late Feb and passed). There are a LOT of opportunities, and I probably got about 10+ offers, but some of which are part time, some full time, and some per diem. It is definitely NOT difficult to work a couple of per diems to make up a full work week while u try to look for a place to live, or to just settle down if you are looking to relocate. I cannot speak on SoCal, but I don't imagine the scene to be too different there. There are also so many opportunities in the Central Valley (Modesto area) if you are willing to relocate. I haven't come across anything that pays less than 90K, BUT, having said that, I did do a lot of job searching, and LinkedIn recruiters have reached out to me a lot, so I think having that good online presence seemed to have helped me out a lot. Some of the other opportunities I was fortunate enough to have are from recommendations from friends and coworkers. So I think if you are willing, relocating should be worth it in my opinion!

    I hope this helps a little bit!

    Cyn

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