Can I even work as an NP at this point?

Specialties NP


Specializes in Adult Primary Care & Palliative.

I am feeling so lost, so I am hoping someone can help.

I have been licensed as an NP for about a year now, but due to personal situation have not worked as an NP yet. My license is in adult primary and I specialized in and took a palliative track while in school. I never took the palliative exam however (it's a long story, but if context is needed as to why, I'm happy to explain). 

My dream is to continue doing work in the palliative field, but so far I am having so much trouble even getting an interview. Is this because I am not palliative certified? Or because I have been without an NP job for a year? 

I'm so far removed from school now I can't get an academic reference for a fellowship at this point. So what do I do?


Should I get work as an RN in my desired field and hope they will take me as an NP eventually? Do I work as an RN in the meantime?


I guess my primary question is how long can someone hold an NP license without working as an NP and actually still get hired as an NP? And I don't mean license expiration-wise, I mean experience-wise. Like will people be willing to hire me as an NP even if it's been a while since I went to school? I just really want the world to see what I have to offer, as I am so passionate about what I do. I just want the chance to show it.


I don't want my masters degree to go to waste after all that work, but I'm just feeling really defeated.


Thank you in advance for any and all advice 


Specializes in Psychiatric and Mental Health NP (PMHNP).

1 year is not too long for you to get an NP job.  I've known a lot of new NPs that continued working as RNs for about a 1 year or so before getting their 1st NP job.  

Why don't you go ahead and take the palliative exam now?

At this point, you need to get an NP job ASAP.  So don't just apply for palliative care jobs. 

I'm assuming you are an FNP.  Find out where the demand for FNPs is highest.  There is a dire shortage of primary care providers in many parts of the country.  

Be willing to relocate.  That will maximize your chances of getting your first NP job.  Many people, including doctors, will work somewhere during the week and then commute back home on weekends.

I don't know where you are located, but the demand for primary care NPs is very high in the Western US.  The pay in CA and WA can be very high, depending on location.  And I am not talking about expensive cities - you will make more money in places like central WA state or central CA than you will in cities like L.A., S.F., or Seattle.

Good luck

Specializes in ACNP-BC, Adult Critical Care, Cardiology.

I'd say keep looking. I work in an area where it is certainly harder for a new grad to find a job. There is just so much competition for positions and employers have the luxury to pick only those whose past experience closely match what the position is asking for and not give interviews to those who do not fit that criteria. That said, I'm sure there are places that would take a new grad and you may have to go to a FQHC farther away to find a job (seeing that you are an AGPCNP). Speaking of Palliative Care, when we had an opening in that role, multiple highly qualified NP's applied for 2 positions.

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