Whether you’re a recent nursing school graduate or an experienced practitioner looking to expand your skills and gain new experience, a career as a nurse practitioner is rewarding and accessible. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are nursing professionals with advanced degrees who take on roles in medical offices, hospital outpatient departments, extended care facilities, and clinics. In other words, they’re nurses who practice medicine. As nurse practitioners grow in popularity, so does their availability to work within the medical assisting community. With the ever-changing landscape of job openings and available openings, it can be difficult to know where to begin when exploring your career options as a nurse practitioner. The following article offers tips on how to successfully transition into nursing role after nursing career path has already been taken.
Experience is key
Experience is everything in nursing. Weigh your desired career path against your current level of experience and what you can realistically achieve. If you’re a recent nursing school graduate, now is the time to begin your career. As your nursing career progresses, you’ll increasingly need to work with mature, experienced practitioners. This requires you to acquire the necessary experience to successfully transition into nursing role after nursing career path has already been taken. Experience is also key if you’re interested in working in a rural area or an underserved community. And finally, experience is essential if you want to work in an administrative or support role. For example, you may not be interested in managing the daily operations of a large hospital, but you may want to work in an administrative capacity supporting it.
Work with the right people
You’ll make more money working with professionals who are on the same page as you. Be sure to make sure your new colleagues know your strengths, what you enjoy doing, and what you’re best at. This will help you to find a team that works well together. In a similar sense, make sure your new colleagues know your weaknesses and what you’re not the best at. This will help you to find a team that works better as a unit. When you join a team, you’ll also make friends and get a chance to learn from your peers. This is particularly important if you’re unsure where your strengths lie or what colleagues would find attractive.
Learn the ropes
Once you’ve found a team where you feel comfortable and able to succeed, the next step is to learn the ropes. This may sound cliché, but it’s true: Become familiar with the administrative processes of your office and clinic, including chart review, financial management, and manage patient flows. Become familiar with your colleagues and the equipment and manner in which you will practice. Even if you’re not currently involved in patient care, you’ll still need to know how to manage your office and clinic.
Take a break and play
One thing you can do to decompress from the day-to-day stress of your new job is to take a break and play. This may seem obvious, but so many new NPs don’t take the time to let their personal life slide. When you’re on your first job and dealing with the daily stresses of work, it can be tempting to push away friends and family — or even take a break from medicine. But spending time with your loved ones can help you to relax and feel content. In fact, a study found that spending time with your family leads to higher levels of productivity when you’re stressed out at work. This can be an especially important time to play, as vacations and other family events are often the best times to let loose and have fun. If you can, try to spend at least a couple of hours each day playing with your children, taking your dogs for a walk, or doing something else that you and the person you love most can relax and enjoy.
Look for opportunities outside of your field
Some of the best ways to transition into nursing role after nursing career path has already been taken is to look for opportunities outside of your field. This can be anything from working in a hospice setting to assisting in a home health capacity. Working with patients who are at different stages of health can be really interesting, and you may want to stay in this capacity even after you transition into a full-time employee. While you’re at it, you may also want to consider working in a community setting that provides a setting similar to your office. This is where working with patients who are in residential or nursing care can be really rewarding. You may even want to consider working in a hospital setting after you’ve shadowed a staff nurse for a while.
Congratulations on your new job as a nurse practitioner! Now is the time to explore your career options and make sure you’re doing everything you can to prepare for a successful transition. Experience is everything in nursing, and you’ll make more income working with seasoned practitioners. Work with the right people, learn the ropes, and take breaks and play. In time, you’ll be able to decide what path is best for you and your career.