So...what was your first job like after becoming an NP?

  1. I'm working on a Masters to become an NP. Just curious. What was your first job like after becoming an NP? Was the transition from staff nurse a difficult one...? How hard was it to find a job? Would you do it all over again if you had the chance to turn back the hands of time?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    I'm a CNS, not NP but since I just graduated in May, I thought I could give you some insight. My nursing background is ER (10 years) mostly. I did want to stay in the ER but the hospital where I was at didn't have mid-levels in the ER. So...I went to a nephrology practice (11 MDs, 4 PA's, 3 NP's and me). I am very happy that I took this job. It is much different than the ER but I'm learning so much too. I think that I might have stagnated if I had stayed in the ER. It was my comfort zone.

    I will say though that I am also glad that I left the ER because it is very hard to be an NP/APN in the same place where you were a staff nurse. It is much easier to go to some place new and they only know you as an NP.
  4. by   rnsrgr8t
    I graduated as a PNP 2 years ago and am still working at my first job out of school as a PNP in Urology. For me, I was starting a new job, new role and in a new specialty that I was not familiar with. I work with a great NP that has been working in the specialty for 15 years and is a great role model. It took about a year for me to feel comfortable in my specialty and I still feel like I am growing into my role but I truly enjoy it. It is important to be in a good enviroment. I think that is what has made the transition so easy for me. You just have to get used to being a newbie again (it was hard for me b/c I was so comfortable/knowledgeable in my last job) but it is worth it! Good Luck!
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Yes, that learning theory novice to expert thing is a real drag when you're pushing 50! lol
  6. by   mom and nurse
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Yes, that learning theory novice to expert thing is a real drag when you're pushing 50! lol
    Yep. I definitely agree with that!

    Thanks for your replies. Any others out there want to tell what its like as an new NP..?
  7. by   ERNP
    Well I almost have 2 years under my belt now as an NP. I worked ER as a nurse for many years and have stayed in ER as an NP. It is an excellent fit for me.

    The ER I worked for didn't use NPs or PAs. I gave them every opportunity to create a position but it wasn't happening. I took the opportunity to move across state lines and pursue what I wanted to do.

    My first job is still my full time job. I will admit that it was much easier on the psyche to be "the backseat doctor" when I was a nurse and knew everything. It was like being a teenager. Something felt different when I was signing my name on the orders and I felt this extreme responsibility. It was lack of confidence in the new role and has improved greatly. There are still days when I feel like I have more questions than answers, so I ask a lot of questions those days. Let's face it, the clinical portion of the program was only one year long. Lots of things I didn't get a chance to manage in the real world that one short year.

    Sometimes when I am staring down the barrel of a situation that makes me uncomfortable I sit down and think about what "the backseat doctor" in my past would have done. It has served me well. Also, just remembering that I don't have to know everything is helpful. There is always someone who can be consulted if needed.
  8. by   gauge14iv
    I am in my first job now - 3 mos.

    Some days I feel like I do ok, other days Im fairly overwhelmed, but I remember feeling that way as a brand new RN too. Any role change is hard.

    I agree being the "Backseat Doctor" was certainly easier!

    So far, I am really enjoying my new job though. I have a very supportive and encouraging collaborative MD, and the practice I am in is a well established large family practice.

    When I walk in on something I am not sure about I always feel free to just go ask him what he would do, or ask him to pop his head in - that has been VERY nice!
  9. by   traumaRUs
    ERNP and gauge14IV - you guys mirror my thoughts exactly. It was so easy (and comfortable) being the backseat doctor - love that term. Now that the buck stops with me - I really think a lot harder and longer before I make a decision.
  10. by   gauge14iv
    Heh - when I was in my ADN program in 91-93, one of my fellow students spent 30 min tearing up her brain on a med/surg rotation and then finally, painfully and with a great deal of urgency asked the rest of the group of us students - "My patient has a fever of 101.7, should I gvie him one tylenol, or two???!!"

    I sometimes wonder if my doc doesn't look at me the way I remember that student...
  11. by   traumaRUs
    I agree. I have been on my own for two weeks now (in a totally unfamilar area for me) and I know I ask the dumbest questions. Fortunately, I have three other wonderful and experienced NPs to bounce things off of.
  12. by   gauge14iv
    As for the "Was it worth it?"

    Right now - ABSOLUTELY
  13. by   TX-NP
    Ok guys, so the last entry is about a year old.....how 'bout some updates.

    I'm a new grad (12/06) and feel totally lost.
  14. by   traumaRUs
    Well, I'm still here. I just gave my notice at my first APN job. I enjoyed nephrology but was given an opportunity to start a new program in the hospital I left last year.

    I am still happy that I pursued the APN role but I now know that like with any RN job, the first job after graduation might not be "the job."

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