Know your worth as a new nurse practitioner graduate

grads throwing their caps in the air

You have greater agency as a nurse practitioner compared to being a registered nurse (RN). Because there are fewer advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) than RNs and there is such a need for advanced practice care, there is more freedom and flexibility as an APRN in comparison to an RN. This understanding takes some getting used to.

This is not to say that RNs aren’t invaluable; without them, our work would become incredibly difficult. There just needs to be a shift in perspective–moving from thinking like an RN to thinking like an APRN. While there are scary shifts in perspective like switching from taking orders to being the one ordering medications, there are other changes in perspective that are really incredible like being in control of providing quality patient care from a prescribing level and helping create the plan of care on a more involved level. Additionally, there is an incredible need for more healthcare providers, particularly with the global pandemic, and there will always be a need for care providers.

Where shortage exists, value increases.

This is the case with anything and there is no exception to you as a new prescriber. You might be thinking that you are brand new so what value could you possibly have, you are terrified of prescribing medications and don’t feel your school adequately prepared you with everything you need to know. This is such a common feeling among new NP grads.

BUT you have demonstrated the competence to do this job by completing your education, passing your board certification exams, and becoming licensed. While you might not believe you have the basics to do this job, you do. Otherwise you would not be allowed to do this job. Employers know this too.

There is an interesting disparity of knowledge where employers can see your value and the potential to be someone incredibly helpful to their organization and their patients, but you don’t know or believe any of this. This gap of knowledge between employers and you as a brand new APRN is what leads employers to not properly compensate new graduates.

So, there is absolutely value and agency as a new grad looking for your first job. With this increased sense of agency in mind, hopefully you feel more empowered not to just take the first job you are offered. This is an abundant world and as an APRN new grad, there are many opportunities for you to find the right job for yourself to allow you to help provide much needed patient care.

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