Direct care maybe not my thing?

  1. Hi! I hope that someone or many someones can provide me with advice. I am 2 semesters in to a FNP program. I'm doing fine, haven't started any clinicals, have gotten A's... but I cannot seem to be into it. I can't shake the idea that this is not the path for me, but I worry that maybe I am just fearful and I am portraying some psychological reflex to back away or feel resistance... I don't know. I have a lot of clinical experience providing direct patient care (acute care settings), and I recently changed to a hands-off position providing medication management by phone. I am finding that I really don't miss the patient contact!

    My current job is sort of mind-numbing, and is not what I want for my long-term career, but the change to an office environment where there is a complete absence of emergency situations is nice. I am really, truly an introvert. I love to work alone. I would love to have freedom in my schedule (I am not afraid to work hard, or to have a lot of work, but daydream about being able to do it on my own time rather than during predetermined hours). I love to learn and to apply what I've learned to problems. I care deeply about people, particularly about health, and especially about issues in public health. I feel like I am smart, intuitive, and have an ability to be diplomatic (I think that is the best word for what I mean).

    I have gone the FNP route because it seemed the logical thing to do, because all of my background has been in direct clinical care, and because I really do want to advance my knowledge, my education, and, I hope, deepen my impact in my career. But, I worry that I have pigeon-holed myself into an area of nursing that is not really my best fit, mostly out of a lack of knowledge about what else is out there.

    So, what I'd love to hear is: are there many opportunities for NPs to do nontraditional roles, possibly non-direct-care roles? If there are, how would I position myself to enter those areas? With what I've described, does anyone have any ideas about an area (either within the NP realm or outside of it) that I may find a better fit?

    Thanks so much in advance for any insight.
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    About Wartocin

    Joined: Aug '16; Posts: 5; Likes: 4

    4 Comments

  3. by   llg
    Maybe NP isn't the path for you - and you should take a break from school to think it through before investing any more money in it. There are other career paths. Maybe you wouldn't want Administration or Education either ...

    ... but what about something like Quality Management or Public Health or Epidemiology? We have lots of nurses (some with MSN's, some without) in our hospital who have nice "office jobs" who work in the field of Quality Management, Performance Improvement, etc. There are Master's Degrees that focus on that sort of thing.
  4. by   YoutubeTheNP
    I know two NPs who do not touch a patient ever.

    One is a chief nursing officer for an emergency department staffing company.

    The second is the lead MLP for an emergency physicians group.

    Both the positions are strictly administrative and leadership roles. Not sure if a introvert would fit that role.
    Last edit by YoutubeTheNP on Sep 3, '16 : Reason: quoted wrong response
  5. by   Wartocin
    Thank you both so much for taking the time to comment on my post. I know that these sorts of alternative positions are out there, but I just don't know where to begin with learning about the specifics, understanding what the roles entail, and knowing what I could do to find myself in such a position. Like I said, I've always done direct patient care in acute settings. I am already $15,000 in to the NP education, so it pains me to consider that wasted. But, I suppose putting much, much more money into a degree that, in the end, doesn't fit would be a bigger pain. I don't know how to determine whether to keep going and hope to find a way to use the degree in a role that I am able to thrive in (which I am thinking would be something not along the traditional lines of NP work), or to cut my losses, spend some time trying to figure out alternatives, and (likely) pursue another advanced degree. Hmmm. Thanks again for hearing me.
  6. by   Cococure
    I agree with the above poster and take some time off, maybe just 1 semester. Taking break to re-evaulate is a good idea maybe another specialty might be right for you. I understand that you have invested quite a bit of money but investing more would be even more detrimental. Another area I have seen a few jobs are research NP's, I am not sure of the job market in your area for that specialty. Also I think they have FNPs that do telemedicine, again search your job market before deciding to invest further.

    Good luck (and trust your gut)

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