How truly autonomous are you in your practice? (I think this may vary by state?)
I am not very autonomous in my current position. I work inpatient and the hospital I work at is just really starting to see the benefits of NPs, which means we are in new territory and have to prove ourselves. Repeatedly.
Do you feel well respected? (I've seen some pretty nasty internet talk regarding NPs on various forums, and was wondering if this actually carried over into the real world...)
I feel well respected as a person in my current job. I feel well respected by my patients and coworkers. I do not feel a great deal of respect from some of the physicians I work alongside - which seems to vary greatly by specialty.
and the most important question I have...
Do you feel NP school provided you with a thorough enough knowledge base (or in other words...did you feel comfortable practicing as a relatively new grad NP)?
I think I felt pretty well prepared to get started. Comfortable...no. I think those who feel really comfortable right out of school are fooling themselves or think better of themselves than they should. It's scary to be responsible for making all the decisions we make on a daily basis - and I think that fear when one first gets started translates into appropriate caution after one is experienced. I've been a NP for only about a year-and-a-half. The first six months or so I was scared daily. The past year I've become comfortable, more confident, and much less frightened.
Was I well prepared by my NP program for entry-level NP practice? Yes, I was. And I learned HOW to learn, how to find information I needed, what resources are good, when I'm getting out of an area I should be in so I need to ask for help from others, etc.
Looking back, do any of you wish you had became a physician instead? (please no flaming...just an honest question...I'm aware that most NPs probably had no desire to become a physician)
Sorry for the long post...I guess what I'm really getting to is, would you become an NP again if you had a "do-over"?
Never had any desire to be a physician and would not have gone that route. A physician I worked with in the past encouraged me to apply to medical school rather than NP programs and I laughed. I have a husband I love and whom I was not willing to ignore for years in order to pursue physician training. And I love people and feel very strongly that lots of medical schools
and residency programs educate the caring right out of students.
Nursing education is very different to medical education, so I would advise you to look very closely at both types of education to determine where you best fit and will be satisfied.
I'm just trying to weigh my options to see if I am following the right path.[/QUOTE]