Inside Nurse Practitioner Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Be Prepared To Be Overlooked...
I was surprised by how my job can be simultaneously full of gratitude and completely thankless. So often my expertise and dedication is overlooked because I'm not wearing a white coat. But sometimes the personal interaction with my patients is so rewarding." (Nurse Practitioner; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Nursing at UNT HSC in Texas; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"Geographic Flexibility...
I was surprised how easy it is to find work not just in the state and city I reside but in other locations to which give me leeway to take my talents elsewhere. I really enjoyed schooling and the great people in it as I find those great people have the same attitude to which I work with." (Nurse Practitioner; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Nursing at University Of Houston in Texas; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"Health Care Organizations Limit Health Care...
The change in the health care laws and reimbursement for health care has been the most surprising. Nurse practitioners are now in greater demand than ever. And yet, more and more, health and medical care decisions are being overseen by bureaucrats in health care organizations. These people decide what procedures are too expensive, thus saving money for their organizations. Health care now becomes care which is absolutely medically necessary care." (Nurse Practitioner; 2013)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Florida, female
School: Studied Nursing at Northeastern University in Massachusetts; completed Master degree in 1999

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Adult Nurse Practitioner In Internal Medicine: "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." (2011)

Nurse Practitioner: "The best part of my job is the flexibility of the job makes it easier on my home life. I get to make decisions on how patients can take care of themselves and their families. I also get paid a salary that I feel reflects how hard I work at my job. The worst part of my job is the frustration dealing with patients who don't take care of themselves or the insurance companies who don't provide the necessary tests and medications to optimally take care of them." (2011)

Career Background

Nurse Practitioner

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"You Need A Solid Foundation Of Primary Skills And General Knowledge...
Never rely on one specific skill or expertise. You need a well rounded, solid foundation to succeed in this field" (Nurse Practitioner; 2013)

"Shoot For The Stars...
Always shoot for goals that go beyond what you can do, if you want to become a nurse go for your M.D. because you never want to stop. Put yourself in the best position possible because you already made it this far." (Nurse Practitioner; 2013)

"Nuts And Bolts Of Being A Nurse Practitioner...
If you want to be successful as a nurse practitioner, sign up to be a health care provider with as many companies as possible. This way you will have more work opportunities and might be able to work for the better healthcare organizations. Also, please start networking, expand your contacts, learn all you can about the clinics and or hospitals where you live. Also, don't forget using your professional nurse practitioner organizations in the areas of your specialty. Some states allow nurses to set up their own practices. By the way, the most needed area of specialty, and also the toughest, is family practice." (Nurse Practitioner; 2013)

"Choose A Practice That Respects Your Role...
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." (Adult Nurse Practitioner In Internal Medicine; 2011)

"Get A BSN And Work First...
Get a bachelor's degree of science in nursing and work in the field of nursing before pursuing a graduate degree as a nurse practitioner. Work in a hospital setting and get a feel for what patients experience in the acute phases of illness. Always find a job whether in nursing or as a nurse practitioner that you feel supported in your role. You should never feel like you are on your own in anything you do in your job. Like the job you are in. Never stay in a job that you do not feel satisfied with. You will be a better nurse practitioner if you feel accomplished in your work. There is plenty of areas of health care that you can specialize in to help you feel rewarded. Don't stop investigating and exercising your options." (Nurse Practitioner; 2011)