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Delayed entry to field after graduation


Hello all!

I graduated an AGNP-PC program June last year, and finally took the certification exam (and passed!) this month. For personal reasons, I have had gaps in employment and also have delayed starting as an NP.

Long story very short, one of the reasons is that I move with the military. And we will have had 3 moves in a 3 year period by Summer 2022. We are moving in about 2 months and will be in our next state for about a year, then another move to a new state for one year. Knowing all of this over the last year, I thought, well I picked a great time to graduate! I know NPs, especially new, are not quite as interchangeable as RNs. I've had several jobs where they know I am temporary due to moving with the military and it's not been a problem. I suspect it's different for NPs.

I've accepted an RN job in the state we are moving to. I thought, I will never get an NP job being so temporary, so I didn't bother looking into it. Recently, I thought I'd check it out anyway, and licensing and all of that seems daunting and like it will take me the entire year we are there, so I might as well look at next year (starting Summer 2021) at this point. And we will only be in that location for one year, too!

I guess my questions are:

How long is too long out of school? At what point will I be absolutely unemployable as an NP?

Are there resources for someone in my position?

Even if it won't be used in the state I will live for the next year, should I continue with licensure so it is done and can be transferred later?

I've also considered, before this mess, doing a cert in Women's Health. If I can manage that, will I be considered "new" and employable upon completion, even if I never use the AGNP education in the meantime?

Thank you!!

Numenor, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

It might be tough. A lot of employers are leery with new NP because of our, at times, flimsy education. Being out of work for a while makes everything worse. I think there are refresher course available for NPs that have been out of the game for a while though. I am assuming you are an experienced RN, so of course employers won't always care about you leaving. But as a new temp NP, they will DEFINITELY care.

I would stick with the RN gig for a while until you feel more stable to practice. WH is pretty niche so do your research on employability for sinking more cash.

Edited by Numenor


Thanks for the response. I've been researching women's and psych while working as an RN for now. I've also come across some residency programs, I just hope being out of school for 1 year does not disqualify me. I would really like to do that, even if it was right after graduation, to get that additional training would be awesome. Should have them everywhere!

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 3 years experience.

Are you moving to California?  If so, the licensing process is not as long as you seem to fear.  You can get a temp NP license in 6 to 8 weeks, and then the permanent NP license in another 2 to 3 weeks after that.

It is not a good idea to put off getting an NP job for so long after graduating.  You don't have to tell prospective employers you are only going to be there for one year.  And things can change, anyway.  The posting might last more than one year.

Women's Health is not as versatile of an NP role and there are fewer such jobs.

The hardest thing is getting that first NP job.  Hustle and get one ASAP, even if it is just a part-time job.  There are also COVID testing and contact tracing jobs for NPs now.