Career as a Nurse Practitioner

Advice and Resources for Nurse Practitioners

No amount of research -- not even ValuePenguin research -- can make up for the human element.

With this in mind, we asked nurse practitioners to relay their advice to students and professionals who are considering chasing a career in the field. It should also come as no surprise that their wisdom helped us shape the first four articles in this five-part series. In this final installment, we also share our favorite online resources and invite you to collaborate with us as we work to improve our guide. See how you can contribute below.

Advice for Aspiring Nurse Practitioners

Of working professionals, ValuePenguin asked, "What would you tell someone who is considering joining your field?" Here are their answers.

Temeka Gillespie Temeka Gillespie FNP-C A career as an FNP is extremely gratifying and rewarding in so many ways, most importantly because we are given the opportunity to contribute to improved quality of care and make a difference in overall health outcomes. The role of FNP clearly demonstrates how a nurse (RN) can transition and evolve to expand her knowledge base to become a more essential member of the care team, actively and constantly involved in decision-making about the plan of care. Our foundation as nurses is essential because it has equipped us to carry all the tools (bedside manner, knowledge and skills) into the advanced practice role with the continued mission to provide quality, compassionate care patients need. Also, as FNPs we have a great variety of opportunities within different settings worldwide. FNPs are in demand as there is a shortage of physicians to adequately care for patients, especially in underserved, unserved areas.
Margaret O'Donnell Margaret (Peg) O’Donnell DNP, FNP, ANP, B-C, FAANP If you are considering the profession of NP, you must have a deep commitment to the practice of both nursing and medicine. Keeping patient-focused is essential, and is always our primary objective. Practitioning is a very hands-on profession, and deeply caring for your patients’ well-being is our most important objective. Medicine is an ever-evolving field, and keeping up to date on evidenced-based medicine is a challenge, but also very rewarding. Lastly, learn to advocate for yourself, and do not underestimate your value to the community.
Chris Caulfield Christopher Caulfield FNP, MSN Obtain clinical experience prior to starting NP school. Too many new grads are entering Direct Entry MSN programs without clinical experience. I obtained my RN through a local community college and gained valuable experience as an RN prior to NP school, which allowed me to develop my clinical knowledge tremendously before starting as a NP. After being able to try several different specialities and experiences as an RN, I was able to find my passion in the field of hair restoration.
Nancy Brook Nancy Brook MSN, RN, CFNP I would remind them that a career in the medical field can be unpredictable and it is important to be both flexible and resilient. Having a strong interest in medicine and wellness is key, but having strong communication skills, compassion and critical thinking skills are important as well. As a nurse practitioner, you will work both independently and as part of a team and you will work with patients from every walk of life.
Shamika Brooks Shamika Brooks RN-BSN, MSN-FNP-C Choose your nursing specialty wisely. For example, if you are pursuing a role as a family nurse practitioner, go into areas like ER, ambulatory care, home health or urgent care as an RN. I believe these areas prepare you more realistically for the role as an outpatient provider. If you are interested in acute care as a nurse practitioner, then ICU is a great experience to have under your belt. Last but not least, make sure you have a network of providers willing to assist you with preceptorship, because I believe your clinical experience is what really prepares you for the role of provider. So you need to choose sites that foster learning and development.

Online Resources for Nurse Practitioners

In the course of researching our guide, these were the best online resources we found for aspiring and current nurse practitioners.

Your Turn

Staying up to date on your profession is an important task when looking for a job. And while ValuePenguin is your definitive source for everything nurse practitioners-related, even we can't stay current on every news happening within the world. Here is our own curated Twitter feed.

Let us know how else we can be of assistance by using the #NPQA hashtag on Twitter. If we don't know the answer to your question, we'll ask one of our experts.

Are You Already an NP?

Are you a future nurse practitioner? Let us know how else we can be of assistance by emailing us. If we don't know the answer to your question, we'll ask one of our experts.

Are you already a nurse practitioner? Let us know what we missed by taking our survey and share your career experience with your peers.

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