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New Grad NP feeling Overwhelmed, Scared

NP   (2,282 Views 33 Comments)
by dolgre411 dolgre411 (New Member) New Member Nurse

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Just graduated 2 weeks ago with my Family NP and am prepping for my boards. After all the excitement of finishing and graduation, I'm starting to slip into a kind of depression and I'm wondering if any other new NP grads went through this? 

I didn't actively seek a position pre-graduation because it was so hectic towards the end that I literally didn't have the time and energy. While a few had jobs lined up, most of my peers didn't either, and many decided to focus on boards and taking a vacation or two before looking for work. I really wanted this time off myself just to decompress. Now I wonder if that was such a good idea. 

If seems like the further away from the intensity of school and clinicals and being around all the patients and clinics I get the more anxious and disconnected I'm feeling from being an NP. TBH, I'm scared of not being able to find a reasonable place to start off as a primary care provider. Will I be able to taking on the responsibility and work of starting this career? What if it is way more above my head than I thought it would be? 

I just need to hear if anyone else ever went through this and how they managed it. 

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FullGlass has 1 years experience as a BSN, MSN.

5 Followers; 1 Article; 6,588 Visitors; 660 Posts

Many new grad NPs feel this way.  I took 3 months off after school, then started studying for boards, which I took and passed 6 months after graduation.  It then took another few months to get my license (I live in California which takes forever).  I was supposed to start work 10 months after graduation, then the offer fell through at the last minute.  I spent 2 months frantically looking for work and ended up with 9 excellent job offers.  No one cared that I took some time off after school.  

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Cococure has 7 years experience.

1 Follower; 6,303 Visitors; 369 Posts

First off...congrats on being a NP graduate!!! I am in the same boat as you, just finished school and preparing for boards. I am nervous and excited all at the same time, I too am terrified I won’t be able to find a provider that knows the NP role especially a new grad NP. Right now I am just focused on taking it one day at a time and doing self care (eating healthy, exercising etc.) I must say working out helps reduce my stress level. My plan is to prep for the boards and after passing start looking for a job. I will continue to work as a nurse and take my time looking for a job that is supportive to new grad NP’s. I don’t expect my first job to be my dream job but I do expect a learning curve and I do expect to feel like an “imposter”. Basically the same feelings I had when I was a newbie nurse. 

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Dodongo has 7 years experience as a APRN, NP.

2 Followers; 10,603 Visitors; 753 Posts

This is why NP programs needs to increase their clinical hours into the >2000 hour range.  The CCNE requirement of 500 hours is ridiculous and the majority of NPs graduate feeling unprepared (rightfully so, because they are).  

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2 Followers; 3,052 Visitors; 99 Posts

No offense Dodongo, but your post does nothing to help address the concerns this person feels in real time. 

OP, it is normal to have those gitters and concerns. I was there when I started working as a new provider last fall. As another poster said, you have to make peace with the fact that you aren't going to know it all. Choose a practice that has onboarded new grads and has a realistic ramp up (3 to 6 mos is ideal). Download EPOCRATES and subscribe to Uptodate for medical references. If you need to learn more about a subject, research it over the weekend. 

We've all been there. Even those like medical doctors at some point in time were nervous when they had to leave the nest, but regardless, most of us do well. Evidence even backs that nurse practitioner have better patient satisfaction and generally provide quality service. So take a deep breath, study and pass your boards, take a vacation if you desire, and consciously choose a provider that can support you.

Edited by ToFNPandBeyond

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3,295 Visitors; 76 Posts

I was very nervous too when i first started, but I had a wonderfully supportive doc that I worked for and a nice patient population with 2 great MA's. I was completely set up for success and yet every day still stressed me a little. You constantly see new things in primary care (at least I did) but knowing that you have support (a doctor who welcomes your questions and gives you support on whichever correct way you choose to treat a disease, an MA who is experienced, and a great online tool like UpToDate to reference while in the room with the patient) makes ALL the difference in the world. Wait for a job like that- seek that out even if you have to make some sacrifices for it because it preserves your sanity. I regret leaving that job SO much just because I wanted to live in a different part of the country and I can't find anything like it here.

I took a laptop in the room with me and while the pt was talking would look up (in UpToDate) anything i needed to know about what they were telling me. I spent so many hours in uptodate that UpToDate actually cut me off, thinking i was sharing my subscription- i had to call them to tell them, no I'm just new lol 🙂

 

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FNP2B1 specializes in Family Practice Nurse Practitioner.

10,189 Visitors; 123 Posts

You shouldn't feel nervous as a new NP.  At least you shouldn't let your patient's know you are nervous.  If you don't have self confidence in yourself your patients will know it and won't trust you. To any other new NP candidates starting on this road I would suggest what I did to get ready for the real world.  Ask your preceptor if you can shadow/work/learn more than the required hours by your university.  I knew 500 hours wasn't enough.  I asked the primary care MD/NP and the dermatologists who trained me if I could work with them on any weekends they were open, between semesters and after graduation before boards. I wanted to learn and be confident.  I'm glad I did.  I only needed 500 hours to graduate.  I had over 1700.  I knew what I needed to know and hit the ground running.  If you want to be successful take it upon yourself to make the extra effort.  Do what your peers aren't doing.  Set yourself apart.  The $$$ and the jobs will find you when you do.

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2 Followers; 6,128 Visitors; 1,131 Posts

If you weren't nervous, I would be nervous. I would concentrate on the top 10 problems seen in Primary Care and study those like your life depends on it. Which it sort of does.

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2 Followers; 6,128 Visitors; 1,131 Posts

38 minutes ago, FNP2B1 said:

You shouldn't feel nervous as a new NP.  At least you shouldn't let your patient's know you are nervous.  If you don't have self confidence in yourself your patients will know it and won't trust you. To any other new NP candidates starting on this road I would suggest what I did to get ready for the real world.  Ask your preceptor if you can shadow/work/learn more than the required hours by your university.  I knew 500 hours wasn't enough.  I asked the primary care MD/NP and the dermatologists who trained me if I could work with them on any weekends they were open, between semesters and after graduation before boards. I wanted to learn and be confident.  I'm glad I did.  I only needed 500 hours to graduate.  I had over 1700.  I knew what I needed to know and hit the ground running.  If you want to be successful take it upon yourself to make the extra effort.  Do what your peers aren't doing.  Set yourself apart.  The $$$ and the jobs will find you when you do.

It was nice that someone was willing to do clinical hours with you on the side, informally, and it helped . But this is very, very worrisome from a number of different legal perspectives. It surprises me greatly that anyone would be willing to do this in 2019, no matter how well they know you.

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noyesno has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Surgical/Trauma.

17,541 Visitors; 812 Posts

I'm graduating from a FNP program in 10 weeks. 

I don't really have any advice but just wanted to say, I'm feeling much of what you're feeling. 

Hugs. 

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FNP2B1 specializes in Family Practice Nurse Practitioner.

10,189 Visitors; 123 Posts

1 hour ago, Oldmahubbard said:

 

 

 

Edited by FNP2B1

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314 Visitors; 27 Posts

16 hours ago, Oldmahubbard said:

It was nice that someone was willing to do clinical hours with you on the side, informally, and it helped . But this is very, very worrisome from a number of different legal perspectives. It surprises me greatly that anyone would be willing to do this in 2019, no matter how well they know you.

Oldmanhubbard, I'm a newbie but am looking toward np in the future so I am trying to learn all I can. I fully admit my ignorance on this! What if the extra time was in a "shadowing" capacity, where an np student is not making decisions but is there as  "fly on the wall" to observe & learn...would that have legal implications? Just wondering if there is a good way for a prospective np to gain extra experience in a safe/legal way?

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