My Education: BS in Biology & Psychology, Boston College Masters in Nursing, Mass General Institute of Health Professions
My Prior Experience: While in college, I worked as a nursing assistant on a gynecological/oncology unit. I did cancer research right out of college for 2 years. While in graduate school, I worked on a cardiac step-down unit as a nurse for 2 years. Upon receiving my MSN and attaining my certification, I worked as a Cardiac Nurse Practitioner for 7 years in an independent doctor's office. Currently, I am in an independent physician's office practicing internal medicine.
My Company: We provide primary care services for adults starting with those 16 years and older.
Job/Career Overview: I am a nurse practitioner in a medical office with one doctor
and one other NP. A routine day will find me seeing patients that are at least
16 years old. I may see people who are acutely ill with a cold or injury. I may see people coming in to check on chronic problems like diabetes or high blood pressure or I may see people coming in for their annual wellness exams.
My job entails taking personal histories of each patient, performing physical exams, diagnosing problems, prescribing medicines, ordering other therapies and tests/procedures and teaching people about health prevention and disease processes. It is my job to figure out why people don't feel well or why they are hurting and to develop a plan of care that will fix them and/or their situation. Part of my day includes reviewing tests and bloodwork that has previously ordered. I work autonomously and as a team member. I do use computers specifically with electronic medical record programs. My days are never the same.
I rate this career 9 out of 10.
The best parts of the job include working with people and making a difference in their lives. It is a great thing to know that I have helped someone to feel better. I like the fact that the days are never the same. I am very humbled to know that people trust me with information that they have never told another person. My job has allowed me to see the birth of a baby and experience the death of an old woman, all in the same day. It is both a good thing and a bad thing that the days go by very fast--it is not a dull job.
The worst part of the job is that at times, there are patients that I can't help. And sometimes, working with the computer program can be frustrating.
1. When pursuing a career as an NP, get as much experience as a nurse in an acute care setting as possible.
2. Be particular in choosing your placements for your internships as an nurse practitioner.
3. Take additional outside courses (for CEU's) that will strengthen your weak areas - e.g., EKG reading or lab interpretation.
4. When seeking employment, make sure that the supervising physician is willing to collaborate, respects the NP role and sees you as a benefit to the practice.