These are great advice for new grad who are searching. Many new grads always complain about how they can't get jobs and that there are no job opportunities. There are plenty of jobs out there. Its just all they want is to stay in the city and a major metropolitan area. What they fail to see is that clinics and employers have to pick the right candidate and it takes time and it is not a RN job where you can just get up and leave. These employers have their time invested in you and taking the time to train you so they of course want to make sure you don't just leave right away (not saying that all employers take the time to train you but there are bad employers out there as well) and waste money and the time to invest in your orientation/training since there are overhead costs that they have to spend on you like your DEA, Malpractice insurance, salary...etc. They are actually not making any money off of you when you first start but are hoping once you get acclimated with your job you will be able to make up for the overhead costs and overtime make revenue for them.
Don't just let employers interview you. YOU NEED TO INTERVIEW THEM AS WELL! Don't just nod at everything they say. Come prepared. ask about the patient population, how many patients you'll be seeing, how much will they be paying extra if you did any procedures, work environment, benefits... etc. You need to also make sure that they are the right fit for you and you need to get a feel for the people that you are going to be working with because if you already don't feel at ease during the interview its most likely that you will not be at ease with them working permanently. Last thing you want is that you accepted an offer for a really high salary and you are miserable within 3 months... so miserable that you want to quit but you have a 1 year contract so you have to stay and everyday you come to work until your 1 year is up you are dreading getting up from bed.
Rural areas and underserved areas are really under rated. I have never worked as a NP in a metropolitan area it was always rural and underserved. I have learned so much from my patients and build so much trust. I have found that if you build good rapport with your patients, they are more likely to take in your suggestions and be more compliant with their disease management. One thing about rural area patients though is that they get attach to you once you become their regular provider which can be very hard when you decide to leave. Serving rural areas is the most rewarding and fulfilling job so far that I have ever had.
Working in rural areas, sometimes you have the liberty to do a lot more in your clinical practice. For example, I work primary care Internal Medicine everyday but I am also scheduled in school based Teen Clinic anywhere from 2-4 times a month (that's not over time by the way. Instead of scheduling me in Internal Medicine they will schedule me in Teen Clinic which is something I want).
On top of that, my MD supervisors have encouraged every MD/NP/PA that if they have a passion for a certain type of specialty or they have a project that we want to do to help improve patient care (this is not mandatory, its optional) they will support us and will provide guidance for this and will give us time within our 40 hour week schedule to do this. I find that this is the best set up for me as I can do primary care and also hold a specialty clinic once to twice a month.
I am so blessed to have found this rural area that I am at. I think it is one of the most beautiful areas in the US to live in. I live in the 4 corners area and i am surrounded by 7-8 national parks/monuments within a 20 min to 5 hour drive. NM,CO, UT are only 1.5 to 3 hour drive. It qualifies for loan repayment (although I never had any loans because I worked and went to NP school at the same time & paid for it but my NP school tuition cost was only about $28,000 at a public state university)
As far as curriculum vitae/resume goes, you don't have to spend money to have someone do them for you. You can do it yourself. You can just ask your preceptors or your NP instructors if they can provide you a sample of their CV/resume and try to tailor the format to theirs and how you apply it to your professional experience (whether in healthcare field or not) and your education. Once you've done that, just ask one of your professors to review it for you and give you feedback. None of my NP preceptors and professors were opposed to this. In fact, they gave me suggestions and feedback on how to do my CV/Resume properly. If you don't feel comfortable with any of your instructors/professors/preceptors you can always contact your local NP group and see if someone is willing to take a look at it.
Also, please don't put your hourly salary or your salary on your CV/Resume, I have seen this before. I'm sure everyone has a different way of doing references but I never did put my references on my CV/Resume. I figured if they were truly interested after the initial interview they would call me back and request for them and most of the employers who were interested did that. If they weren't interested they never asked for it and I never heard from them again.
What I will tell you to invest your money on is once you have accepted a job offer (and again, this is optional but this I think is worth your investment), is for a lawyer to take a look at your contract before you sign it. One thing to be familiar with is a noncompete clause (I won't explain it here because I think its worth your time to do the research and googling it up yourself). If there is something you do not understand in your contract or some type of fancy jargon that you do not understand or may have different interpretations.... its worth getting a lawyer to take a look at it so you don't allow yourself to get jipped by mindlessly signing a contract.