Category : NP jobs

COVID-19 has infected your NP job search

It’s no surprise NPs are wondering whether this is the right time to look for a position.  The global pandemic has not only changed the way we live but has also impacted the NP job market in some ways we have never seen before and to the casual observer don’t seem to make much sense. NP job seekers are wondering if this is even an appropriate time to look for a new job. New graduates are beginning to have serious concerns as graduate NP prospects are rapidly dwindling. This blog will unravel the mystery surrounding the current NP market to assist you in making the best decision for your job search.

Where did the NP jobs go?

We have shifted from what was a steadily expanding NP market to one that is rapidly transforming before our very eyes.  In the middle of a pandemic, we are seeing many healthcare sectors begin to decrease hours, lay off or furlough personal.  For the first time in my memory, NPs have actually experienced active job offers being retracted by employers.

One of the areas most impacted are urgent care, which may seem somewhat counter intuitive when everyday we are hearing how the Coronavirus is straining our healthcare systems.  The reason, however, is that patients are being strongly encouraged not to seek face to face care for complaints that are not deemed to be essential.  For instance, cold and flu symptoms which are one of the leading reasons people seek care, are told to stay home unless they are experiencing more concerning symptoms such as respiratory distress.  If at risk for COVID-19 they may be directed to screening centers.  Concern over use of PPE and supplies is also prompting urgent cares to scale back.

Primary clinic hiring has also dramatically decreased, and some have actually begun to claw back outstanding job offers. Why? Like urgent care, daily patient visits have declined. Many are refilling prescriptions for stable chronic conditions without visits in order to minimize direct contact. The result is that patient loads have dropped by half or more in these clinics, so staffing has decreased accordingly.  Hiring has also partly halted because the workload is not there to support their current staff.  Remaining staff are working hard to adjust to changes and employers have redirected resources to support current staff. The result: hiring has been put on the back burner.  There is so much uncertainty surrounding how long this crisis will last, so increasing staff at this time is not a good business decision This new way of doing things is likely to have many repercussion going forward as healthcare organizations will be evaluating how they do business in the future.

Other areas impacted are centers that specialize in anxiety disorders. Again, it seems like we might need more of them, but in during this crisis where we must weigh risk vs benefit, they are deemed to be less urgent.  Specialty practices which refer patients to hospitals and same day surgery centers are essentially on pause because of cancellations for elective surgery.  Booming esthetic and cosmetic type practices are deemed “non-essential” and are another sector retracting offers.

Who is hiring?

There are sectors where you can get a job right now. These tend to be in areas such as long-term care, cancer care infusion centers, senior living facilities, residential care facilities, drug and alcohol treatment, and correctional health.  The common thread here is care that must be continued.  Patients can’t simply be discharged from these settings. Reservations continue to hire. Check areas that don’t have a high number of COVID-19 infections as they may still be hiring. If you have surgical skills or respiratory skills and willing to work in the trenches you are likely to find an opening.  Mental health evals are in high demand so Psych NP hiring will remain strong with a likely shift to more telehealth visits.

“If something cannot go on forever, it will stop”

Don’t get discouraged, this is not about you, it’s the pandemic. We are in new territory. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking.

My next blog will outline how you can adjust your job search tactics now to maximize your prospects for when hiring begins again.

Beware! Ghosting will frighten away your Nurse Practitioner job prospects!

The phenomenon known as “ghosting” refers to when and individual makes a conscious decision to skip out on an agreed meeting or not to respond to various modes of contact. Like a ghost, one glimpse and then they disappear without a trace.

In the job seeking world “ghosting” is manifested as a range of behaviors which may occur at any stage of the job seeking process. In the beginning, a candidate may be guilty of “ghosting” when after applying for a position the applicant fails to respond to inquiries from the prospective employer or does not respond to a request for an interview. More extreme examples include not showing up for a scheduled interview all the way to not showing up for the first day of work.

This is not a new phenomenon by any means, previous generations of recruiters would have used the term “being blown off”, nevertheless, non-responders were as frustrating to employers back then as they are now.

Ghosting has always been more likely to occur when the NP job market favors the job seeker. When job opportunities are plentiful and the demand for Nurse Practitioners is strong it’s easy for a candidate to become overconfident. The tendency to jump to the conclusion that everyone is eager to hire you can leave the job seeker with the impression there is little to no risk when “ghosting” an employer. After all, there are plenty of jobs so no big deal, right?

Wrong. There are several ways that ghosting can come back to haunt your career.

No one likes to be stood up.

When you “go dark” and stop responding it leaves the impression you seriously lack the basic social grace known as politeness. A characteristic which won’t reflect well on you as a person or as a clinician. Keeping one’s word still means something. Seriously, how hard is it to fire off an email or return a call saying “thanks, but no thanks” or “I changed my mind”? When potential employers take the time and effort to process an application (which YOU initiated) and you don’t respond it only makes you look self-centered at best and downright rude at worst.

Dead to them

Healthcare recruiting is a much smaller world than you might think. Recruiters and hiring managers talk to each other – even between organizations – so you shouldn’t be surprised if tales of your previous “ghosting” are passed around and come back to scare away your opportunities for future employment. Ghosting is not just frustrating, but it is wastes valuable time in an employer’s search to fill an opening for a clinician, so organizations can have a long memory when it comes to your disappearing act. Electronic applications now preserve evidence of your past bad behavior indefinitely, so your “ghosting” stands a very good chance of living longer than your job prospects. Burned bridges are mighty hard to cross.

Save spooky behavior for Halloween

My advice is simple. Don’t take the risk. Think of your future and look beyond your current job search. You only have one professional reputation so treat it well. Remember your manners. If circumstances have changed then be considerate enough to let a prospective employer or recruiter know you are no longer interested. Be upfront if you are interviewing for other positions, or have another offer you are entertaining, employers aren’t going to hold it against you.

Strategies for Negotiating a Travel Assignment

Before you pack your bags for your next NP locum tenens job you first need to negotiate your compensation. Most nurse practitioners don’t consider themselves to be savvy negotiators because it’s not something NPs are taught. You want to be sure you secure the best and fairest deal possible but negotiating any assignment can prove to be difficult (and intimidating) if you don’t know where to begin.

In my latest blog for Barton Associates I outline the 3 options you have after you have when responding to any job offer, plus some critical information you should gather before you even think about starting to negotiate. And finally I explain the role of your recruiter in negotiating your temporary assignment.

Click here to read the full blog


NP Career Coach interviewed in Clinician 1 podcast

Join me as i speak with Jordan G. Roberts, PA-C and I will tell you why it is SO important to de-clutter your resume, offer a few tips (and cautions) on job searching in the current job market along with a few other job seeking gems. Oh, and i will tell you all about going to jail… for the right reasons. All this wisdom is delivered with a healthy dose of humor.