So...what was your first job like after becoming an NP?

  1. I'm working on a Masters to become an NP. Just curious. What was your first job like after becoming an NP? Was the transition from staff nurse a difficult one...? How hard was it to find a job? Would you do it all over again if you had the chance to turn back the hands of time?
  2. Visit mom and nurse profile page

    About mom and nurse, BSN, MSN, NP

    Joined: Nov '03; Posts: 647; Likes: 128
    Nurse Practitioner; from US
    Specialty: Acute rehab/geriatrics/cardiac rehab


  3. by   traumaRUs
    I'm a CNS, not NP but since I just graduated in May, I thought I could give you some insight. My nursing background is ER (10 years) mostly. I did want to stay in the ER but the hospital where I was at didn't have mid-levels in the ER. So...I went to a nephrology practice (11 MDs, 4 PA's, 3 NP's and me). I am very happy that I took this job. It is much different than the ER but I'm learning so much too. I think that I might have stagnated if I had stayed in the ER. It was my comfort zone.

    I will say though that I am also glad that I left the ER because it is very hard to be an NP/APN in the same place where you were a staff nurse. It is much easier to go to some place new and they only know you as an NP.
  4. by   rnsrgr8t
    I graduated as a PNP 2 years ago and am still working at my first job out of school as a PNP in Urology. For me, I was starting a new job, new role and in a new specialty that I was not familiar with. I work with a great NP that has been working in the specialty for 15 years and is a great role model. It took about a year for me to feel comfortable in my specialty and I still feel like I am growing into my role but I truly enjoy it. It is important to be in a good enviroment. I think that is what has made the transition so easy for me. You just have to get used to being a newbie again (it was hard for me b/c I was so comfortable/knowledgeable in my last job) but it is worth it! Good Luck!
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Yes, that learning theory novice to expert thing is a real drag when you're pushing 50! lol
  6. by   mom and nurse
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Yes, that learning theory novice to expert thing is a real drag when you're pushing 50! lol
    Yep. I definitely agree with that!

    Thanks for your replies. Any others out there want to tell what its like as an new NP..?
  7. by   ERNP
    Well I almost have 2 years under my belt now as an NP. I worked ER as a nurse for many years and have stayed in ER as an NP. It is an excellent fit for me.

    The ER I worked for didn't use NPs or PAs. I gave them every opportunity to create a position but it wasn't happening. I took the opportunity to move across state lines and pursue what I wanted to do.

    My first job is still my full time job. I will admit that it was much easier on the psyche to be "the backseat doctor" when I was a nurse and knew everything. It was like being a teenager. Something felt different when I was signing my name on the orders and I felt this extreme responsibility. It was lack of confidence in the new role and has improved greatly. There are still days when I feel like I have more questions than answers, so I ask a lot of questions those days. Let's face it, the clinical portion of the program was only one year long. Lots of things I didn't get a chance to manage in the real world that one short year.

    Sometimes when I am staring down the barrel of a situation that makes me uncomfortable I sit down and think about what "the backseat doctor" in my past would have done. It has served me well. Also, just remembering that I don't have to know everything is helpful. There is always someone who can be consulted if needed.
  8. by   gauge14iv
    I am in my first job now - 3 mos.

    Some days I feel like I do ok, other days Im fairly overwhelmed, but I remember feeling that way as a brand new RN too. Any role change is hard.

    I agree being the "Backseat Doctor" was certainly easier!

    So far, I am really enjoying my new job though. I have a very supportive and encouraging collaborative MD, and the practice I am in is a well established large family practice.

    When I walk in on something I am not sure about I always feel free to just go ask him what he would do, or ask him to pop his head in - that has been VERY nice!
  9. by   traumaRUs
    ERNP and gauge14IV - you guys mirror my thoughts exactly. It was so easy (and comfortable) being the backseat doctor - love that term. Now that the buck stops with me - I really think a lot harder and longer before I make a decision.
  10. by   gauge14iv
    Heh - when I was in my ADN program in 91-93, one of my fellow students spent 30 min tearing up her brain on a med/surg rotation and then finally, painfully and with a great deal of urgency asked the rest of the group of us students - "My patient has a fever of 101.7, should I gvie him one tylenol, or two???!!"

    I sometimes wonder if my doc doesn't look at me the way I remember that student...
  11. by   traumaRUs
    I agree. I have been on my own for two weeks now (in a totally unfamilar area for me) and I know I ask the dumbest questions. Fortunately, I have three other wonderful and experienced NPs to bounce things off of.
  12. by   gauge14iv
    As for the "Was it worth it?"

    Right now - ABSOLUTELY
  13. by   TX-NP
    Ok guys, so the last entry is about a year 'bout some updates.

    I'm a new grad (12/06) and feel totally lost.
  14. by   traumaRUs
    Well, I'm still here. I just gave my notice at my first APN job. I enjoyed nephrology but was given an opportunity to start a new program in the hospital I left last year.

    I am still happy that I pursued the APN role but I now know that like with any RN job, the first job after graduation might not be "the job."