Category : Nurse Practitioners – NPs

New Grad Class of 2013 – this blog is for YOU

Graduation is exciting but also a little stressful. New grads (or maybe I should call them “soon-to-be-grads”) spend almost as much of their last semester worrying about getting their first job as they do studying.

Well, I personally have never seen any value to worry. It’s far better to spend your time preparing instead of worrying.  And luckily for new grads there is some good advice out there.

Advance for NPs and PAs puts out a great “Guide for NP & PA New Grads” every year and it is chock full of both practical and valuable advice.

This year 2013 the guide has gone digital and you will find 4 extremely helpful articles.

The first (which just happens to be written by me!) is Salary Tips for the New Grad.  I discuss realistic salary expectations as well as the proper time to negotiate.  You might be surprised at what I have to say.  Read more

There is also a nice article on Building a Better Resume. This piece includes some nice tips on social media, keywords and paper resumes.  As your trusted NP Career Coach I can say without reservation that the advice is spot on and will help you be more successful in landing that job interview.

Speaking of interviews, did you know that the new trend is to do your interview via Skype?  Check out the handy tips in Get Psyched to Skype.  You will be glad you did.

And finally, read Networking Know-How and find out how to make the most out of your networking.

Access the entire guide HERE 

 

HAPPY GRADUATION CLASS OF 2013!

 

More reasons to hate on the term “mid-level” – as if there weren’t enough already…

As many of you know I do not particularly care for the term “mid-level” practitioner.  Just in case you aren’t familiar with my opinions on the subject you can read one of my posts from May 2012 in which I give numersous reasons to shun the term.  (if you agree please share!)

Now, as if there weren’t already enough reasons to dislike that label I have found yet another – and it is a doozy.

I came across a link to what is actually a very handy grid from which outlines the DEA authorization to prescribe controlled substances in each state. It is a state by state guide to which schedules we are allowed to prescribe.  This is actually quite a helpful resource if you are considering a move to another state or perhaps thinking of doing a NP or PA travel or locum tenens assignment.

The guide starts out with the official definition of a “mid-level” provider.

Pursuant to Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1300.01(b28), the term mid-level practitioner means an individual practitioner, other than a physician, dentist, veterinarian, or podiatrist, who is licensed, registered, or otherwise permitted by the United States or the jurisdiction in which he/she practices, to dispense a controlled substance in the course of professional practice. Examples of mid-level practitioners include, but are not limited to, health care providers such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists and physician assistants who are authorized to dispense controlled substances by the state in which they practice.

OK, I don’t like this definition but I can live with it, at least for now.  But then I kept reading and I see that also included in this mid-level category is “animal shelters” and “euthanasia technicians”.  WTF?

This is still a helpful guide but it really is hard to look past this.  Who can we complain to?

You really must see it for yourself.  Click here.

Not sure? Shadowing might be the solution.

Have you received a job offer but you just aren’t sure if you are ready to accept?

You may have left the interview feeling a little rushed, and that your questions were not fully answered. This is not unusual.

Receiving an NP or PA job offer is a bit like receiving a marriage proposal. It’s very flattering to know that you are wanted. But sometimes you can find yourself so overwhelmed by the notion that someone truly desires you that you don’t consider whether or not the feeling is mutual.

Starting a new job is not unlike a marriage, it is big commitment and shouldn’t be left to one’s emotions, because once done, it’s not easy to undo. It’s one of life’s little ironies (or jokes) that getting out of a bad relationship can be much more complicated than entering into one.  (We will leave the topic of how to gracefully “divorce” a job for another blog!)

So for those of you entertaining an offer but still feeling unsure I recommend you consider a longer engagement. Before you think I have completely gone off the rails let me explain.

Ask for a “shadow” day. This has become more and more common in recent years. Requesting to spend a shift or two with one of their current providers, “shadowing” is a good way for both parties to get to know each other better.

As a clinician, you will get a clearer idea of not only the job duties and patient flow but also the personality of the practice. Remember, an interview lasts usually no more than an hour and everyone is on their best behavior. It’s a little harder to hide dysfunction for an entire day. If there is an undercurrent of tension or disorganization you are going to pick up on it.

So what’s in it for the employer? A good fit, that’s what employers get out of the shadow. Employers are just as eager to find an employee who fits in with their practice culture as you are to find a practice that fits you. A happy employee is a long term employee. As I have said many times before, clinicians rarely leave jobs where they are happy even if they can make better money elsewhere. Great pay and benefits aren’t enough for happiness.

Now that I think about it, that is the case for many marriages as well…

From a blog originally published on Advance for NPs and PAs

Pick me! Pick me! How can you get a recruiters attention?

A reader recently asked me why employers choose one nurse pracitioner application over another.

I offered up this advice in my latest blog: Advanceweb.http://community.advanceweb.com/blogs/np_6/archive/2013/02/06/applications-and-interest.aspx

Dear NP Career Coach: What can I do to get employers to notice my application? I would like to know if there is anything you can recommend that will increase my chances of landing an interview. Can you help?

Dear Job Seeker: Obviously it is important that your resume show the employer that you possess the right qualification and skills for the job. However, you also need to convince them that you have a genuine interest and a strong desire for the position.

Employers tell me that if you are able to clearly articulate the reason you are applying for the position then they will be more likely to want to interview you. So how do you demonstrate to a potential employer you have a passion for their position? I have a couple tips to help you.

  1. Research the employer. Learning about their culture, mission and history is one way to show an employer you are interested in them. The information you gather will help you to emphasize why you are the right fit for them. And if you get a call or an interview it will also help you to formulate the right questions to ask. Start by checking out their website or Facebook page.
  2. Make clear the reason WHY you want this position and make sure that your reason makes sense. The best tool for you to express your motivating reason is the cover letter. Use your cover letter to explain why you feel drawn to the position. Perhaps you have previously worked with this population or specialty before. Or maybe your reason is that you did a clinical rotation in their organization. If you know someone who is a current employee who has inspired you to apply that is perfectly good reason as well. (Name dropping is allowed!) Just remember that whatever your rationale, it needs to be employer-centered and show clear benefit to the employer. For example, proclaiming that you want the job because the hours or commute better suits your lifestyle is not helpful.
  3. Don’t “over-apply” or be a “serial applier.” When employers see you submitting several applications for several different positions it makes you look like you either don’t know what you want to do or that you are desperate. Neither of those options is very attractive. Think carefully before applying; if you aren’t sure why you want the job, then you are unlikely to convince anyone else why you would want it either.

3 Essential Components of a Successful Nurse Practitioner Resume

Tuesday Tip:

I have preached this for years.  Call it a resume trifecta, the holy trinity or the triple play but every (and I mean EVERY) NP resume must contain these 3 critical pieces of information.  If employers do not find this information – and find it quickly – your resume will never make it past the first round.

It’s a simple formula really

1. Your education
2. Your certification
3. Your skills

Create your resume around these elements. Remember, we review your resume in less than 15 seconds so you must make these 3 bits of data the centerpiece of your resume. Skip the fancy formatting, long winded “objective” statements and just focus on ensuring that this information as easy for us to find as possible.

What to know what to include under each of these 3 headings?
Read my latest blog here

Survey says: 2012 was a Good Year!

The “2012 Advanced Practice Clinician Compensation and Pay Practices Survey Report” a survey conducted by Sullivan, Cotter and Associates indicates that 2012 was a good year to be an NP or PA.

Key findings include:

NPs and PA job openings:

  • A 17% increase in the number of Advanced Practice Clinicians positions was reported by 63% of the respondents
  • In addition half the respondents plan to increase the number of NPs and PAs in their organizations by 15% during the coming year

NP and PA salaries:

  • 62% indicated that NP and PA salaries increased by an average of 3.9% over the past year.
  • At least half revealed they are planning salary increases of an average of 3.1% in 2013 for their Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants.

Reasons cited for the trends:

  • Team based care driving the demand for more NPs and PAs
  • MD shortage
  • Recent national trends to ensure all medical professions can work at the top of their practice level and training.

While this is only one study it does confirm that the market is moving in a positive direction.  This doesn’t mean we can relax just yet though, my contacts tell me that open positions are still attracting large numbers of applicants.

2012 Salary updates

This time of year always bring a new batch of PA and NP salary survey information.  I like to review the various surveys to compare if they match up with the trends I observe.  Sometimes they do, and sometime they don’t .

As always, a few words of caution about salary surveys.  First, they keep in mind the participants are self-selected which may skew the results.  In my experience those doing well are more eager to fill out salary surveys while those experiencing less favorable compensation tend not to want to talk as much.

In a volatile or rapidly changing employment landscape a salary survey can often lag behind current trends.  This has been especially true for PA and NP jobs over the last previous years, however, this past year has seen some increasing stabilization which make recent surveys more reliable.

Here is a quick summary of the most recent salary survey from Clinical Advisor along with my comments:

For an NP in family practice the yearly pay averages in the mid 80K range  Womens health and pediatric NPs come in about 10K lower.  Specialties, such as geriatrics or heme/onc will bring in a yearly salary in the 90K bracket.

My take: This is not a surprise to any of us in the recruiting biz.  For those certified in womens health and peds wages and jobs have been in decline for years. What this survey doesn’t say is how the respondents for these categories are certified.  An FNP working in these areas will earn more than those certified as peds or WH.

PAs earn about 10K more a year than NPs. The exception is in family practice where they come out only slightly ahead of NPs in pay.

My take: The other categories listed are specialty practice areas.  No surprise they earn more. Specialty practices bring in more revenue so it logically follows that they will pay more too. PAs also still dominate in specialty practices.  They tend to be more open to specializing than NPs although that is beginning to change too.

The survey also compares experience.  In both categories experience brings more pay but for PAs the increase continues over their careers while the earnings of NPs level off after 5 years.

If you want to check out the entire survey, which includes further breakdowns by geographic region, it can be found here.

NP Career Coach interviewed for Contraceptive Technology Updates

Most people think of January as the season for snow and winter activities, but for your NP Career Coach it’s season of the annual Salary Survey.

And with the salary survey comes interviews…

Recently I was interviewed by Contraceptive Technology Updates and asked for my thoughts on how to be best prepared in the event budget cuts result in a decrease in your work hours or find you out looking for a new NP job.

In the article I discuss the value of having a “master resume” ready to go, the importance of flexibility in this market and whether it can benefit you to consider signing on with a recruiter.

Family Planning Salaries Hold Fast – Where will 2012 take Employment Levels?

Click here to read the entire interview which begins on page 13.

Do you have a passion for Rural healthcare?

I don’t often discuss specific job openings but I am going to make an exception for this position.

How do jobs make my “short-list” you might wonder?

Because I feel I have a certain trust level with my readers I won’t blog about any and every position. I will only promote a PA or NP job if I feel the employer values and respects nurse practitioners and/or physician assistants. This job meets my criteria due to the high level of independance their NP and PA providers enjoy.

Another plus is this NP/PA job is in my home state of Minnesota – actually small town Minnesota to be exact.

Here are the details:

This position is a true family practice position in a rural satellite clinic providing care for all ages across the lifespan.

Hours are Monday – Friday, 9a-5p.

There is occasional Saturday morning (8-noon) coverage in a neighboring clinic required which is rotated among 6 (yes I said 6!) other advanced practice clinicians.

Other responsiblities include “PRN back-up” for call in nearby Critical Access ER.

Back-up call and Saturday clinic coverage does pay additional compensation on top of the base salary.

Speaking of salary…

Salary range is $75-$95K depending on experience.

Position includes Medical Benefits, 401K, plus CEU/licensure reimbursement. Relocation assistance is negotiable.

They will also consider NEW GRADS! How cool is that?

Now excuse me for a minute while I brag about my home state. I’d like to remind everyone that Minnesota has alot to offer and this clinic location has something for everyone. I’m talking about easy access to the best fishing and camping in the state for you nature enthusiasts as well as theatres and large shopping centers for you city folk. (FYI – Minnesota DID invent the shopping mall) And when you want/need to come to the big city Minneapolis-St Paul is less than 2 hours away.

This is a rare opportunity to provide true family practice services with maximum independence in a rural setting that values nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

If you would like to hear more call Katy at 800-856-6385. ext. 2113.

Be sure to tell her the NP Career Coach sent you!

 

Attention: Dallas-Fort Worth area NPs!

I haven’t done this before but judging by the number of emails I get from NPs who are looking for work I thought I might post a job opening.

I just spoke with an employer who is hiring for an innovative and intriguing nurse practitioner job in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas. Reliant Health House Calls is looking for several NPs to join their team seeing patients in their homes. This is a FULL-TIME opportunity with benefits. They are also willing to hire NEW GRADS.

Salary: $80,000 – 106,000

If you want to learn more contact G.S. Reddy at 817-808-3443 or gsreddy99@gmail.com

Be sure to tell them I sent you!
Renee