Stress level: RN vs. NP

  1. To all the NP's here, I'm curious as to how you would rate your level of stress of your prior RN career to that of your current NP career. Please provide some background (i.e., current position, previous RN position).
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  2. Visit NEMurse95 profile page

    About NEMurse95

    Joined: Aug '16; Posts: 30; Likes: 14

    26 Comments

  3. by   Jules A
    Psych in patient both. I love my current jobs but also loved being an RN. My responsibilities of being a NP are significantly more stressful than my RN duties were, no comparison.
  4. by   AutumnBlaze
    I was a critical care RN, ICU, SICU, CCU, CVICU, for over 20 years. I am now an inpatient ACNP . I am much more stressed now.The amount of responsibility is so much higher.
    Last edit by AutumnBlaze on Feb 26 : Reason: punctuation
  5. by   Oldmahubbard
    This is interesting to read. I am an NP who feels just the opposite.

    Most importantly, I now have vastly more control over the situation.

    I am not an employee of the facilities where I work, so it is no longer my fault when patients don't receive their medications, ordered diet, laboratory studies, or personal care.

    It is also not my fault when patients are found laying in their own excrement for hours at a time, or have their belongings stolen.

    As an RN, I was blamed to a ludicrous level if anyone had the slightest complaint. I was guilty until proven innocent.

    Now, as an NP, I don't just waltz in, and make recommendations. That would be great enough.

    I also make close to 3x the money.

    If being an NP is not better than being an RN, you are truly being screwed.

    My opinion only.
  6. by   NEMurse95
    Quote from Oldmahubbard

    If being an NP is not better than being an RN, you are truly being screwed.

    My opinion only.
    Thanks for the response. Refreshing to hear. In what setting do you work as an NP?
  7. by   Oldmahubbard
    Quote from NEMurse95
    Thanks for the response. Refreshing to hear. In what setting do you work as an NP?
    LTC mental health.
  8. by   babyNP.
    One might think my role would be more stressful being a NP versus a RN in the NICU, but for the love of everything, it's so nice not to deal with all the stuff that bedside RNs have to handle including repetitive charting & parents that suck all the emotional energy out of you (this coming from someone that loves talking to parents, but there are some that would try anyone's patience). Don't get me wrong- I still do some repetitive charting & handle difficult parents, but I also get to leave the bedside versus the RN needs to stay with them all day.

    I wrote about this on other posts when I first became a NP, but the other great thing is that there was a great emotional "lift" that I got, like not ever needing to ask someone permission to use the bathroom or get supplies (because you have to have someone watch the monitors in case the baby desats or has a bradycardic episode). I'm treated with more respect by parents and physicians (not right, of course, but it is there). I can pretty much set my own lunch break and get to sit down a lot more. In fact, I get up to go on little walks during my shift just to get some exercise, of my own time and choosing for the most part.

    As far as the tradeoff goes with the responsibility, when you occasionally have a very sick baby or something like "hey babyNP, a mom just rolled in with micropreemie twins and is about to deliver,"- well you call the neo for back up and do the best you can. I get pragmatic about the situation- I do the best I can, no sense in freaking out in the moment. I follow NRP to its conclusion, which is the best that medicine has to offer at the moment for resuscitation at birth.
  9. by   AutumnBlaze
    changed mind
  10. by   GoodNP
    NP in family practice is way more stressful than RN in telemetry, cath lab recovery, PACU, or CICU where I worked for years. An NP is expected to generate profit, which means seeing patients. More patients = more profit, and to the business owner there is no such thing as enough. Ever.

    You remember that episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ethel were working on the assembly line and crap just kept coming at them faster than they could handle...
  11. by   Oldmahubbard
    Quote from GoodNP
    NP in family practice is way more stressful than RN in telemetry, cath lab recovery, PACU, or CICU where I worked for years. An NP is expected to generate profit, which means seeing patients. More patients = more profit, and to the business owner there is no such thing as enough. Ever.

    You remember that episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ethel were working on the assembly line and crap just kept coming at them faster than they could handle...
    Sad.

    So how many patients an average day?
  12. by   NEMurse95
    Quote from GoodNP
    NP in family practice is way more stressful than RN in telemetry, cath lab recovery, PACU, or CICU where I worked for years. An NP is expected to generate profit, which means seeing patients. More patients = more profit, and to the business owner there is no such thing as enough. Ever.
    From an outsider looking in, it seems to me like this could have a bit to do with having a crumby boss. If (s)he's constantly pushing you to see more patients, he clearly doesn't have quality of care in mind and is being unethical.
  13. by   Oldmahubbard
    If you are required to see 20 or more patients a day, I hope you are being quite well paid. Because the practice is getting more than 300 grand for your services.

    Back in the day, when I did my ANP clinical, my experienced NP preceptor had about 15 patients day. She left every day at 5 pm on the dot.

    She also did time consuming things like pap smears.

    She was free, at least to some degree to spend time with patients if needed. She could take her time, and look things up if needed. When she left for the day, she was all done.

    This was 2003, and that model has been dying out.

    Fast forward, 2018 , I have known more than one NP or PA who could not manage to consistently see even 12 patients a day in the LTC setting and complete the paperwork for billing. Almost all of their patients are stable.

    This is sad.

    The providers are overwhelmed by the role, greatly overthinking everything, and most suffer from anxiety and depression.

    They don't have a billing mindset. They are not happy to get new referrals.

    They sometimes have a grossly inflated idea about the documentation.

    Perhaps they feel they should be able to fix and solve everything. Very unrealistic.

    If you don't have boundaries about what you can do and should do, and don't know how to bill for minor complaints, maybe you should rethink the NP role.

    I am in mental health, but I work closely with primary care NPs.

    This is a productivity based practice. There are experienced NPs in my group who just barely manage to make 90 grand, and struggle very intensely to do it.

    And there are NPs in the same group who make 200 grand or close to it. By seeing the appropriate number of patients.
  14. by   GoodNP
    20 pts/day would be a dream. My max is 30, although I've pushed to 33 once or twice, and my average is probably around 27. Maybe 26.

    ...and a simple pap smear would be awesome.

    In family practice, what happens is a pt schedules an appt for something like a pap (because that's what they think they need if they're having vaginal discharge, they have no clue what a pap actually is). And while I'm here, my shoulder has been hurting. And now my ankle has started hurting. And this morning I had rectal bleeding. And I passed out in the parking lot. And I think I'm getting a cold but I don't have time to be sick so can you give me something to just knock it out.... an average of 26-27 times per day.

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