New NP at Wits' End

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I have a NP license since the last 4 years and certification since 1 year. Due to personal reasons I did not actively look for a NP job upon graduation and gave the ANCC exam last year. I was working as a RN during this whole time. I moved 6 months ago to another state and having great difficulty finding a position as an NP. I also applied for RN positions and on interviews asked if I will leave if I get a NP offer or why are you applying for RN job with NP qualification. As a result, I cannot get a RN job either. I really am at my wits end. Can I not list my NP certification and license info on my RN resume, and only enter education as MSN and BSN? Is that legal or will that be considered as lying on resume/ interview? Please help. Thank You

    Any suggestion on how to go about getting a NP job- should I just give up on this?


    Dear At Wits' End,

    Depending on your area, landing an NP job 4 years post graduation and 1 year post certification without experience can be a challenge. Is it possible to re-locate? Some underserved areas hire new NPs and even offer loan forgiveness.
    Have you exhausted all avenues looking for a job? Sign up on Indeed.com. Post here in the Advanced Practice Nursing forum for support and suggestions.

    Don't give up. You've worked too hard for your NP license and certification. The more time that passes, the harder it will be to land a job. Try setting a measurable goal, such as sending out 5 applications a week, or landing an interview in 3-4 weeks. So often I see applicants go from no opportunities to 2 job offers at the same time. It takes perseverance.

    If you continue to look for an RN position, your challenge is that you could be considered a flight risk by an employer. Some people do omit education that makes them overqualified. Technically, if an application asks that you list "all credentials", and you attest that all information provided is true and accurate, you could be in the wrong. People that you work with will soon learn that you are an NP, and word will spread. Would you feel comfortable with your decision if you omit your credentials?

    In conclusion, you have a stronger chance of getting hired as an RN than an NP, although you must be able to speak to the fact that while your ultimate goal is to work as an NP, you have put that on the back burner for now. Have you considered a per diem position or short travel contract?

    It is more favorable to search for a job from the vantage point of being employed rather than being unemployed.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth
    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,446; Likes: 4,321

    1 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    In the states in which I've practiced, when you go to the BON website to verify a license, both my RN license and my advanced practice license turn up on the same page. So, at least in the few states in which I've worked, if you leave the NP info off your CV and application, when a potential employer goes to the website to verify your RN license, they will see that you are, in fact, licensed as an NP. Most work applications ask (require) you to list all your education and licensure/certifications, and most consider omitting something like a higher level of licensure to be a level of dishonesty that disqualifies you from further consideration.

    I agree with the idea of looking for a temporary or PRN position. The last time I was between CNS positions, I went to a local facility in my specialty, applied for a prn staff nurse position, and was open with them about explaining that I was actively looking for a CNS position. I told them I would be happy to work as many hours as they wanted, up to full-time, but was interested only in a prn position because I wanted to be free to leave as soon as I found an advanced practice position, and wouldn't feel right about taking a permanent, full-time position knowing that was my plan. They appreciated my honesty and were delighted to get me as a prn nurse, and I was able to work plenty of hours to cover my living expenses for the time being, until I eventually found a permanent CNS position I wanted. That prn position was a real lifesaver for me!

    I agree that you're in a tough position. However, I don't think falsifying your credentials is an answer. I hope you'll be able to find something. Best wishes!
    Last edit by elkpark on Aug 3

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