1. As a nurse, I always thought I'd do something advanced as far as education. Always wanted to go for a Master's degree but was not quite sure in what field at first. Struggled with deciding over CRNA vs NP but eventually decided on NP because I enjoy in-patient management from admission to discharge and would like to have the one-on-one patient and provider interaction that the NP role offers.
2. Looked around for job openings through word of mouth (classmates, faculty members, NP preceptors), looked through hospital career web pages, and attended NP professional organization meetings to network. Got a few interviews and picked the job I thought fit me the best. First job was in Physical Medicine and Rehab - real easy job, 9-5 routine with no weekends and holidays or on-call duties. Decided the job was too un-challenging for me so moved on to a different job.
3. Yes, both for state and national certification.
4. Seeing patients get better and receiving a personal thank you for the work you did.
5. Dealing with patients' medical conditions taking a turn for the worse. However, it poses a challenge for me to try to come up with solutions to help the patient get better.
6. Personally, I've gained more confidence in my knowledge and skills. Professionally, I see more acceptance of my role from fellow nurses, physicians, and other professionals.
7. Get sign-out from previous NP or resident. Round with attendings (Cardiothoracic Surgeons, Intensivist) to come up with plan for the day. Order stuff (meds, tests, etc.). Troubleshoot problems as presented by nurses. Answer calls for possible admissions to ICU such as post-op hearts and lungs, patients not doing well in step-down who needs to return to ICU. Perform invasive procedures (triple lumen cath's, A-lines, etc, swan-ganz catheters). Receive admissions (mostly post-op hearts and lungs) and manage post-op complications (low cardiac output, hypotension, post-op bleeding, hypothermia, etc. Many other duties but will run out of space if I put it all here.
8. Good inter-personal skills, willingness to learn and receptiveness to being taught by an interdisciplinary team, ability to be flexible, ability to work in a team environment.
9. Talk to nurses and NP's, ask to shadow one and see the daily routines they do. Read up on different roles and find out which one appeals to you.
10. Maybe go to NP association websites. Talk to practicing NP's.