Tag : nurse practitioners

Applying for your first job: all New Grad NPs should be aware of these 3 points

New Grads First Job

First impressions matter, so as a candidate searching for your first Nurse Practitioner job it’s important you present the best version of yourself to potential employers. It’s even more crucial when new graduate NPs find themselves competing a very competitive market. Many newly minted NPs are not aware of the following factors which have the power to influence whether your application is positively or negatively received. So, before you click the “apply now” button, take a minute to review the following 3 considerations.

Finding the right match

Applying for jobs when you don’t match the requirements can actually work against you.  The most common mistake new grads make is to apply for jobs that are seeking only experienced NPs.  If a job posting states “no new grads” you would do well to respect the employers wishes. The same is true when the job requirements include a specific number of years of experience or specify a particular type of experience.

Employers put a great deal of thought into what sort of candidate would best suit the job opening. It could be that the clinical setting doesn’t have the time or resources to train a new grad or a novice.  It might also be that the market is strong enough that they attract enough applicants that they can afford to be choosy.  Either way, if you don’t meet the minimum qualifications what it means is that your application will not make the cut.  Your risk elimination by two different methods. If the organization is using a computer program or applicant tracking system (ATS) your application will be relegated to the digital dustbin.  A human reviewer will take a pass on your resume once they see your new grad status and thus you have gained nothing.

But what could it hurt you might ask? Well, applying for jobs you are not qualified for can result in multiple applications in the system.  For example, if you are applying for jobs for which are not a good fit, and you do it repeatedly, you will begin to accumulate several entries into the system.  Now, imagine that a position opens which is new grad friendly and you apply.  Your new application is noted to be yet another of a long chain of applications. This reflects poorly on you as a candidate. Some systems are programmed to eliminate you on this basis alone. Over applying for jobs can be interpreted in a number of negative ways, such as 1) you are desperate 2) you don’t follow instructions 3) you have no idea what sort of job you really want.  Better to wait and apply for the right job which is a match for your skills and experience than spend time and energy applying when you are not the candidate the employer is seeking.

New grad resumes should highlight student clinical rotations.

Employers are interested in RELEVANT experience and as newly graduated Nurse Practitioner your clinical experience as a student is the most effective method to demonstrate your NP skills to a prospective employer.  Create a category on your resume for your clinical rotations and insert it right above your work experience. Articulate the skills you acquired at your clinical sites and be very specific. Use bullet points listing conditions and list specific procedures you performed give an employer more reasons to interview you than statements like “assess, diagnose and prescribe”.  To maximize the impact of this section be sure that the skills and accomplishments match the job requirements in order to catch the attention of both the ATS and the human reviewer.  Review the job posting to identify the requirements and make sure to include them in your resume. Yes, this is a little more work but in a competitive environment an employer expects to see a resume tailored to a job opening rather than a generic one-size-fits-all. 

Look to your future career, not your past

Including the duties of your registered nurse job in your resume can be distracting and ultimately is not worth the space it occupies. It’s not necessary to go into detail about your RN level experience, the employer is not looking to hire an RN. While employers like to see you have work experience as an RN, they are not interested in the daily duties of your past RN jobs.  In your work experience section go ahead and list your RN jobs but under each employer note only your job title. For example, “Registered Nurse, med-surg”.  This will be enough to demonstrate any related RN experience, which can be helpful if applying to a similar specialty area in which you worked as an RN. Rest assured that if an employer desires further information about the duties you performed in your registered nursing jobs, they will ask you during your interview.

Before you click the “apply now” button make sure you meet the job requirements, your resume highlights the skills you gained as a student NP and don’t fill your resume up with your RN job skills.

How did caring become so complicated?

It is no coincidence that the number of Nurse Practitioners are showing a growing interest in non-clinical positions. There isn’t a week that goes by when I don’t hear from one or more nurse practitioners who are looking to leave direct care.

Burnout is not a new phenomenon, especially for nurses. It’s long been recognized that the strain of continually caring for others can take a toll on the caregiver. “Compassion fatigue” is the term used but I am not so sure that is what is going on here. NPs are telling me that it’s not caring for patients that has worn them down, in fact it’s quite the contrary.

Barrier to Caring

Nurse practitioners WANT to care, it’s what keeps us going. We went into this business to form relationships and make a difference. We were drawn to this role because we were told we would have more time with patients, and we would use this time to educate, inspire and empathize. Instead, what we are encountering in practice now is what I like to call “compassion frustration”. Despite the focus on patient satisfaction it seems too many current practice models are doing everything possible to create barriers that result in encounters that turn out to be unsatisfying to everyone involved.

Decreases in visit time coupled with increasing documentation and payer requirements are getting in the way of therapeutic relationships. One of the most frequent reasons NPs tell me they want to leave direct patient care is that the clinic has become like a treadmill and the clinician is feeling the pressure to either keep up or fall off. Fifteen minute visits, of which 5-7 minutes are taken up by rooming, leaving less than 10 to see the patient and document then on to the next, and the next, and the next. Rinse and repeat. Oh, and answer calls and emails, do prior authorization and of course don’t forget the billing. And because NPs love their patients they maximize their time with the patient and the end result is the NP staying long past clinic hours to finish documenting and completing these other tasks.

Using only the wisdom that administrators and analysts possess, instead of simply giving the clinician an additional 10 minutes with a patient, more extraneous persons have been added to the patient experience. Time for documentation is a problem? We’ll hire a scribe! Non-adherence to a treatment plan? Let’s hire another person to find out why!

More money spent on endless mailings touting a staff of coordinators, educators and of course the website. We now have a host of different people employed to do different aspects of what used to be done by the one person who knew the patient best. How does that save time? Or money? It doesn’t. And it certainly doesn’t increase provider or patient satisfaction. Quite the opposite. Adding more water to the soup doesn’t make it more filling.

I’m waiting for the study that shows fancy programs and initiatives are not a substitute for the good old-fashioned relationship between caregiver and patient. A girl can always dream but I am not holding my breath…