Lots of Locums

NP Career Blog

Lots of Locums

Now that my first column on Locum Tenens assignments has gone “live” I have been recieving a ton of emails and calls. First, let me say I am pleased so many NP’s and PA’s are reading what I write! It’s nice to know you are out there. It’s also nice to see so many clinicians warming up to doing temporary jobs. So far I have heard from folks at both ends of the career spectrum, some are NP’s who are just beginning their career while others are looking towards retirement and just looking for something different (but lucrative). All have concerns and questions.

Temp NP or PA jobs definitely take you out of your comfort zone, some see this as exciting and challenging while others might view it as nothing but pure stress. No matter which way you lean I advise you to be sure to get some critical information before you agree to that temporary job assignment.

Be sure you find out the reason that the employer is seeking a locum tenens clinician. Is this a new venture and they prefer to see if things are going to work out before taking on a permanent employee? In our current ecomony this is very reasonable and actually protects you as much as it protects them. If things don’t work out for any reason no one will question a short employment entry on your NP resume if the position was a temp assignment. And if it does work out you could have your foot in the door to be hired permanently.

If the reason they are seeking a locum tenens clinicians is due to a a vacancy it is a good idea for you to you find out why the previous provider left. It could be something as simple as a medical leave or something much more serious such as a toxic work environment. Good to know before you commit.

Next week I will talk about ways to ensure that you have adequate physician back-up while you are out on assignment. Stay tuned…

2011 Market “Forecast”

January is the traditional time each year when we look back at the past year and then try to predict what will be the trends for the coming year. Well, this year is no different!
Last month I was interviewed by Jen Ford at ADVANCE for NP/PA’s regarding my thoughts on what’s in store for NP’s and PA’s in 2011. She wrote a great article which covers several topics that are of interest to all Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants regardless of whether or not they are job hunting. We discussed the job market, temporary positions, salaries as well as upcoming trends mixed in with a few thoughts for this years new grads.
I highly recommend that you check out the article “A Changing Landscape – The Job Outlook for NP’s and PA’s. You won’t be sorry 🙂

New year’s resolution

Hello 2011!!

My new year’s resolution is to do more blogging! I have alot of great plans of where to take this blog and website so I’m going to be doing more talking about the NP/PA market, salaries and of course job searching. And due to popular demand I will be adding some additional “new grad” resources.

What’s on my mind today? I just read an article about how NP pay and jobs are now outpacing that of the family practice physician. The author wrote in the article about the current market for NP jobs as if all we would need to do is walk out our front door and there will be clinics lined up waving fistfulls of money at us to work for them. They went on to say that demand for NP’s is so great that the market has been able to “absorb a tidal wave of new NP’s”. They cite the physician shortgage as the cause.

Yes it’s true the market does seem to be opening up but we are still far from being fully employed. What IS beginning to happen is that healthcare organizations are reviewing their budgets for the upcoming year and have decided that hiring advanced practice clinicians does make economic sense. (hmm, where have I heard that before…?)

Things are looking up folks. Of course you still need a good resume so be sure to check out my resume tip sheet!

Finding a job fast

Economic conditions have clinicians considering alternative NP and PA job opportunities.

This week I recieved a question from a reader. Her spouse is out of work and she needs to get to work fast. She was wondering if a short term or Locum Tenens NP job could be the answer to her situation.

Temporary or locum tenens assignments are growing in popularity and as usual I have some advice to help you decide if this is an option for you.

To read my answer check out my latest post over at “Advance for NP/PA’s”

Interviews gone wild

“Would you rather be an elephant with no trunk or a giraffe with no neck?”.

No matter how much you prepare for an NP job interview it seems there is always that one question that comes out of nowhere and catches you by surprise.

Have you ever been asked a bizarre or strange question in an interview? Were you ever asked something wildly inappropriate?

If you have an interview story to tell I would like to hear from you!

Your resume should fit the job

Weekend Update: Competition for Nurse Practitioner Jobs remains intense.

There are dozens of applicants for every job posted. This is not expected to change anytime soon. It’s important when you apply for an NP job to distinguish yourself so that you stand out from the rest of the crowd.

One of the ways you can do this is to tailor your resume to each job for which you are applying.

Take some time to research the healthcare organization and the position they have advertised. Take that information and use it to revise your Nurse Practitioner resume so that you can best showcase how YOUR qualifications and experience meet their needs. Highlight areas of your work experience or education that demonstrates why you are the best Nurse Practitioner for the job.

In this current market a one-size-fits-all resume will get you a one-size-fits-all rejection letter.

In other words each job you apply for should have a unique version of your resume.

Tips you will get only from me!

Do you know what hiring managers and recruiters NEVER want to see on your Nurse Practitioner resume?

I was a recruiter for many years so I have some insider pearls and tips. These are valuable details I learned over the course of reviewing thousands of resumes and talking with hundreds of hiring managers.

In this market, when every job has dozens of applicants, even a small mistake can ruin your chances of an interview. Of course you probably will never know why your resume was rejected so you might continue to make the same mistake. In my blog I am going to regularly share with you some of some of these lesser known resume misteps.

In other words I will share my job search pearls with you!

Here comes the tip…

There are several things you should never put on your resume but this is one that might not be so obvious.


Including a past job that was in a non-medical field is a major no-no and could very well get your application bounced. It’s OK to include jobs like “nursing assistant” or “lab tech” because those are medically related. What you don’t want to list is jobs like ” bartender” or “retail clerk”. You many think they help to show that you have a solid work history but in reality it’s a big turn-off when applying for an NP or PA position.

BTW: This is true whether you are a NP or Physician Assistant.

Where do you look for NP jobs?

Your nurse practitioner job search should begin online. Newspaper and print ads have dwindled to almost nothing and have been replaced by online postings. The small number of print ads that are still out there will likely direct you to their website to apply so you might as well start your job search out on the Web.

Employers prefer you contact them via email or their website. Why? To avoid the paper shuffle. Their systems are set up to handle information digitally. It’s much more efficient and information is more easily accessible. Resumes sent via fax or snail mail stand little chance of ending up in front of the eyes of the right person at the right time.

So how do you go about finding the ads online? Start with your local newspapers website. Many employers will run an ad in the online classifieds but skip the print edition. If you have a healthcare employer in mind that you would like to work for then check out their websites frequently. You may see jobs listed exclusively on their own websites and not on any other website or job board.