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Should I start off in family practice?

JVongNP JVongNP (New) New

Hi everyone,

I am a new graduate FNP and am currently on the job hunt. Unfortunately, I am not sure what field I like, so I was thinking it would be good to start off in family practice for at least a year to get a good foundation and then branch out to specialties later on if I get bored and want to try something different. I am also interested in finding a full-time NP position in a primary care outpatient clinic that qualifies for loan forgiveness programs, such as the Nurse Corps and National Health Service Corps. However, it has proven to be more difficult than I anticipated. I got hired to work at a family practice clinic, but it is 50% OBGYN patients, 40% pediatric patients, and about 10% adult/geriatric patients. That does not seem to be the "family practice" population I was expecting (something with more adults and less OBGYN). I also found out that clinic does not qualify for loan forgiveness because it is not a health professionals shortage area (HPSA). So...I do not know if I should take it...

Some people tell me to take the job and work for a year or so and then find another NP job in the primary care clinic that does qualify for the loan forgiveness. At the same time, I do not want to just settle for something and then leave soon after. I also have interviews for a vein clinic dealing with varicose veins (ablation, injection, sclerotherapy, etc.) and a medical weight loss clinic. I doubt they qualify as primary care jobs; and neither qualify for loan forgiveness, but I was thinking of giving them a try (if hired) and just practice for a couple years (because both sound interesting and fun to me) and THEN look again for an NP job in a primary care clinic in HPSA areas to qualify for loan forgiveness. However, I am worried that if I do not start off in family practice, it may be very challenging to get hired for family practice later on?? Any feedback would be appreciated!

I'm not quite in your shoes yet, but I am soon to graduate in December and have begun looking at jobs. You should go where you feel is a good fit and what interest you, I see those being more important than loan forgiveness that would be more like a job perk to me. You may need to work in an area that isn't your top choice to gain more experience, which you may have heard already. Good luck to you in your job search.


Has 8 years experience.

Of the three choices you listed as possibilities, I personally would lean towards the FP practice office. In addition to giving you a well-rounded base, it will make you a strong candidate for a variety of positions in other specialties in 1-2 years. I also think it would be easier to transition from there to a clinic setting in the future that might qualify for reimbursement for your loans. The vein clinic/ medical weight loss clinic might be good positions in themselves, but I just do not see them carrying as much weight as solid FP experience in the eyes of potential future hiring practices. Because of how specialized and narrow the scope of those two is likely to be, I do not think they will be valued as much.

Good luck with your decision.



Specializes in Critical Care/Coronary Care Unit,.

If you want family practice experience, then take the family practice job. This will be more desirable to the majority of employers vs. vein/weight loss clinic. As an employer at a family practice, if choosing between someone with family practice experience and the person with vein clinic experience, I'd chose the family practice person. Good luck.

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Has 20 years experience. Specializes in CTICU.

If you want to work in family practice eventually, take the family practice job. It's much hard to generalize later than it is to specialize if you find an area you wish to focus on at a later date. If you start specialized like a vein/weight loss clinic, you'd have a harder time opening doors to family practice I would imagine.


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