I am planning to start NP school in January, and I am curious how one starts working as an NP out of school with no experience? Do people just start their own practices, or try to get in with an existing clinic, (for example a private group). My dream would be to have a private practice, but I'm chicken about how I would establish a client base, and come up with up-front costs.
What has been people's experience here, just getting out of school?
Nov 4, '07
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as i am an acnp student about to graduate, i can tell you that most of my job opp exposure has come from my clinical rotations during school. i believe that most of my classmates (if not all of them would agree). you have huge networking capabilities during your program... take advantage of each and every one.
students tend to seek out experiences consistent with what they hope to do when they complete the program and have to start working. this sets you up for better opportunities upon graduation. since you seem to have a clear cut idea of what you'd like to do, you need to join your local/state np organization and network with those members in positions that you'd aspire to be in some day. ask them how they did it. ask them if they need help or know of anyone else looking. ask them if they know of an area with a need for a certain type of clinic.
for me, networking has been a most valuable tool... and i have come to appreciate it. you have to be proactive. don't wait on people to approach you. step it up and ask questions. don't be ashamed to call somebody up and tell them you are a np student and would like to set up a time, convenient to them, to talk with them about their success; and find out what words of wisdom they could share.
also, the internet is a very valuable tool. research articles/etc about nps starting their own clinics... or whatever you're wanting to do. you can often contact the authors to ask questions as well. this site is a great adjunct to all of the previously mentioned tactics, too.
i am the kind of person that looks 100 miles in front of the airplane at all times (a patient/pilot said that the other day)... and so i understand your eagerness to begin thinking of these things, but do not let them concern you to the extent that you become overwhelmed or stressed about them. i'm the same way... and so from my personal experience, just know that things will work out in your favor. "everything happens for a reason...." and once you get in your program, i think you will see what i mean. you will have to do some rotations that you won't like or prefer... but it builds upon your experience and helps you narrow down what you do and do not like. because your hope is for a clinic, i'm assuming you are doing a family program? if that's the case... try to set up rotations with nps that have opened their own offices, if your school will allow it.
i know its a lot to think about... but... bottom line: talk to people. get to know your market. research. become a knowledgeable professional. use each experience in your rotation to its fullest. take advantage of conferences/seminars that are of interest to you because they are great networking opportunities. and... many of them are free or of trivial cost to students. most people do not know this. in fact, i went to a society of hospital medicine conference for 3 days that cost everyone else about $5-600 and i went for free as a student: free meals, drinks, everything except hotel. it was an awesome conference, too.
hope this helped and best wishes to you!
Last edit by DaisyRN, ACNP on Nov 4, '07