The purpose of this post is to give new grad NPs an idea of the job market in the Western US. I'm a new grad Adult and Geri Primary Care NP w/o RN experience
. I completed an ABSN and then went immediately into an MSN NP program. This is my second career; I'm in my mid 50s and previously was a business executive.
As a Nurse Corps Scholarship
winner, I have to serve for 2 years in a medically underserved area with a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) score of 14 or higher. These areas are typically inner cities, smaller cities and towns, or rural areas. However, there are also cities with 100,000 to over 1,000,000 population that have high HPSA scores.
I began seriously looking for work at the beginning of November. My search area was: California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Montana, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii. After getting my resume out and updating my LinkedIn profile, I spent an average of 4 hours per day on the phone answering calls and emails from recruiters and employers, and on phone interviews. I spent another 4 hours per day on finding open positions and submitting applications. For the past 7 weeks, including the holidays, I was driving over 1,000 miles per week all over the Western US for face to face interviews, with a couple of flights on top of that. After 2 months of intensive job search, I received 9 job offers, all of them excellent:
- AGPC NP Native American tribe
- Neurology NP
- Sleep Science NP
- Pain Management NP for a hospital system outpatient clinic
- Occupational Health + Urgent Care for agricultural workers
- NP Director of Student Health Services for a community college
- Urgent Care NP for hospital system clinic
- 2 offers for AGPC NP in FQHCs
Below is the offer I am going to accept. It is not the one with the highest cash compensation, but I feel it has the best overall cash + benefits package, along with the best path for future career advancement. In addition, to put this into perspective, the cost of living at this location is extremely low (yes, we do have low cost of living areas in California). One can rent a single family house (3 BR, 2 BA) for $800 to $900 per month or buy a nice little house for less than $200K at this location. By comparison, in the San Diego area, where I currently live, new grad NP pay is $100K to $110K, without any recruitment incentives, and the cost of housing is literally 3x as high (average rent for a 1 BR apartment is $2,000 and median purchase price > $600K).
Accepted Offer - AGPC NP at a FQHC
$110K base salary
Up to $4K performance bonus
$10K sign on bonus
Opportunity to earn additional $ by volunteering to work ½ day on Saturdays at the walk-in clinic – pay is double time for this
Clinic has solid experience precepting, as well as ramping up new grad NPs with an established orientation and training program
Eligible for loan repayment – 100% applicant success from this site
PTO – 25 days per year
Continuing Ed - $2,000 + 5 days per year
1 hour per day for admin time + 2 extra hours 1 day per week
Option to work five 8 hour days or four 10 hour days, flexibility on start time in morning
Malpractice and license fees paid
Good benefits for medical, dental, vision, and 403b
Retention bonuses for continuing service
Big, beautiful, new state-of-the art clinic facility
Physically beautiful area that is a tourist attraction
In terms of my future career goals, they are thrilled I want to earn a post master's PMH NP and have said they will find money to pay for that and give me all necessary support in terms of help finding preceptors, flexible schedule, etc.
In conclusion, two thoughts:
1. A paraphrase: "Go west, new NP!"
2. Don't pay attention to the negativity on this forum