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What are the low stress nurse practitioner specialties?

Posted

Specializes in Public Health Science. Has 2 years experience.

I am applying to a nurse practitioner program and would like some advice on what specialties are like. I was a medical school student that left medical school because I realized that the demands of a doctor and quality of life was not something I wanted to pursue further so I left in my first semester of medical school. However, I love patients and I love caring for people so I would like to work as a nurse practitioner. I want to work in a manner that is humane, that will let me care for myself while caring for patients. I already have hip issues so I don't want to develop back problems on top of that. Does anyone recommend a book or any other sources that can help me learn more about what different specialties are like? If you have some wisdom from work, I would appreciate it. I am looking for a specialty that will give the opportunity to work 40 hours a week, work day shifts, where the patients will not become violent towards me or where I have to lift patients all day. I know there are stressful situations in most jobs but I am looking for a nurse practitioner specialty that will have a good work environment. Any wisdom other nurse practitioners can share would help. Thank you in advance.

Best regards,

Mindy

Undercat, BSN, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in Retired. Has 41 years experience.

There is another thread right next to this one on the exact same question. I wouldn't spend the time and money on becoming a NP if you want a low stress job. Not that they aren't out there but are very rare. Think carefully before you make the investment on a job that is not common. Most NP's work really hard exchanging one kind of stress for another.

On 8/26/2020 at 4:26 PM, Future MSN said:

I am applying to a nurse practitioner program and would like some advice on what specialties are like. I was a medical school student that left medical school because I realized that the demands of a doctor and quality of life was not something I wanted to pursue further so I left in my first semester of medical school. However, I love patients and I love caring for people so I would like to work as a nurse practitioner. I want to work in a manner that is humane, that will let me care for myself while caring for patients. I already have hip issues so I don't want to develop back problems on top of that. Does anyone recommend a book or any other sources that can help me learn more about what different specialties are like? If you have some wisdom from work, I would appreciate it. I am looking for a specialty that will give the opportunity to work 40 hours a week, work day shifts, where the patients will not become violent towards me or where I have to lift patients all day. I know there are stressful situations in most jobs but I am looking for a nurse practitioner specialty that will have a good work environment. Any wisdom other nurse practitioners can share would help. Thank you in advance.

Best regards,

Mindy

FNP at a college or FNP at a business wellness clinic.  Those would be my guesses.   Honestly, though anytime you are prescribing medications and making decisions there is going to be some stress both related to responsibility and inept administration  I don't know of many NP roles where you would be expected to lifting patient's or worried much about  getting attacked.  This is a very different role than a nursing role.  

djmatte, ADN, MSN, RN, NP

Has 7 years experience.

On 8/26/2020 at 5:26 PM, Future MSN said:

I am applying to a nurse practitioner program and would like some advice on what specialties are like. I was a medical school student that left medical school because I realized that the demands of a doctor and quality of life was not something I wanted to pursue further so I left in my first semester of medical school. However, I love patients and I love caring for people so I would like to work as a nurse practitioner. I want to work in a manner that is humane, that will let me care for myself while caring for patients. I already have hip issues so I don't want to develop back problems on top of that. Does anyone recommend a book or any other sources that can help me learn more about what different specialties are like? If you have some wisdom from work, I would appreciate it. I am looking for a specialty that will give the opportunity to work 40 hours a week, work day shifts, where the patients will not become violent towards me or where I have to lift patients all day. I know there are stressful situations in most jobs but I am looking for a nurse practitioner specialty that will have a good work environment. Any wisdom other nurse practitioners can share would help. Thank you in advance.

Best regards,

Mindy

You just named the reasons you probably shouldn’t. “Don’t want a doctors schedule” for one. That reads to me you want the autonomy and respect without the ownership. As noted there is an extensive thread on this topic still being discussed ( moderators would be wise to merge them). Imo the only “easy” FNP jobs get old and (as evidenced here) NPs often find themselves stuck and unable to branch out.  If you want easier, find a job as a Periop nurse. The pacu side is more stressful and often working afternoons, but if you get into preop, the most stress is how efficient you are at getting a patient ready for surgery.  The NP role is s quickly becoming production based. If you aren’t meeting goals or volume while still documenting well enough to protect your back side, you’ll be out looking for a new job. 

Edited by djmatte

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

I don't know if there are any "no stress" "low stress" jobs in the NP realm. I'm a PMHNP and while I love my job, it will never be with out some level of stress because that is part-and parcel for being an attending on an inpatient  unit.  I find working inpatient less stressful than outpatient, because I have coworkers and resources readily available, but it does mean I often work with some of the most vulnerable, most dangerous, and most ill  psychiatric patients in my region.   I happen to thrive on this stress most of the time, but the load can be incredibility high and I am always having to balance many different factors in providing care.

myoglobin, ASN, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro. Has 13 years experience.

I believe that FNP or PMHNP in a moderately rural setting where you own the clinic in an IP state could be such as job. It would help if your income needs were modest. In this way you could do things like have 30min followups and 90 minute initial evaluation appointments that while not as profitable, would be inherently less stressful.  It would also help if you did this in states with "lower costs" and no income tax would help as well.  Thus, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, come to mind.  

DrCOVID, DNP

Specializes in psych/medical-surgical. Has 12 years experience.

On 8/29/2020 at 12:21 PM, verene said:

 I find working inpatient less stressful than outpatient.

Wow, if that isn't the complete opposite of how I feel. LOL...

But anyway, stress is so highly subjective. I feel like compared to inpatient nursing, outpatient PMHNP work is "not stressful..." so even though there are a lot of naysayers here, there are probably low stress options for yourself in an NP role. But you have to find it yourself.

3 hours ago, myoglobin said:

In this way you could do things like have 30min follow-ups and 90 minute initial evaluation appointments...

This would increase my stress level. I'm fine catching up on documentation rather than longer drawn out appointments.

You can specialize in anything as an NP; dermatology, gastroenterology, etc... but again, it all depends on your structure, how much you have to document, how your boss treats you, relationships with peers, how long your appointments are, all that plays into how "stressed" you feel I would imagine.

Edited by adammRN

myoglobin, ASN, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro. Has 13 years experience.

36 minutes ago, adammRN said:

Wow, if that isn't the complete opposite of how I feel. LOL...

But anyway, stress is so highly subjective. I feel like compared to inpatient nursing, outpatient PMHNP work is "not stressful..." so even though there are a lot of naysayers here, there are probably low stress options for yourself in an NP role. But you have to find it yourself.

This would increase my stress level. I'm fine catching up on documentation rather than longer drawn out appointments.

You can specialize in anything as an NP; dermatology, gastroenterology, etc... but again, it all depends on your structure, how much you have to document, how your boss treats you, relationships with peers, how long your appointments are, all that plays into how "stressed" you feel I would imagine.

I find that I use almost every second of my 30 minute follow ups and initial 90 minute evaluations. I cover a plethora of information ranging from diet and exercise to good podcasts such as The Carlat Report and Dr. David Puder's excellent mental health podcast which can provide optimal education for improved mental health. I cover a gamut of CAM options (things like Saint John's Wort, and SAM(e) for appropriate patients) in addition  to more traditional medicines. I cover effective CBT options for insomnia like CBT(I) as well as the essential elements of CBT(I). I cover the importance of early morning sunlight and maximum darkness at night (and regular routines) for those with bipolar (and depression, but it is even more important for bipolar)  Honestly, I wish I had more time. Also, I seldom have much time to chart during my appointments save for the HPI and the plan.  

Edited by myoglobin