After receiving your family nurse practitioner certification, you will have a wide range of professional opportunities to choose from. With a broad and indispensable skill set, you are certain to find your talents in high demand.
How can you narrow down the options for your first FNP position? And what should you do to prepare for a competitive employment negotiation? Apply these strategies from the experts at Fitzgerald Health Education Associates to land the perfect role for you:
1. Dig deep to prepare for interviews.
Although you are excited to finally put your certification into action, it is wise to first take time for reflection.
Without a true understanding of what you want out of your FNP career, you may waste time pursuing positions that are not the best fit or miss out on a significant opportunity.
Dr. Margaret Fitzgerald, founder of Fitzgerald Health Education Associates, recommends reflecting on the following questions, preferably in writing:
Why did you become an FNP? Entering a new profession comes with a learning curve, even for the most prepared new family nurse practitioners. In the midst of these growing pains, touching base with your original intentions can help you recenter and stay motivated.
How do I view the contributions of FNPs to healthcare practice? Employers will want to know how you envision the FNP role and how you feel that FNPs fit into a larger network of healthcare providers. Being able to articulate your vision clearly will come in handy as you interview for your first FNP position.
What are my strengths? What areas do I need to develop? List clinical problems that you handle most effectively. You will need to be able to name and market your strengths during an interview. As you list any weaknesses, make a plan to improve and expand your skill set.
This list will also help you determine the best career path for you, possibly directing you to a certain type of practice.
Where do I envision myself personally and professionally in 1, 5, and 10 years? Thinking ahead to the future is important for your own planning and goal setting, but employers will also want to know where you are headed. This can help employers determine whether they have the right opportunities for your long-term career objectives.
2. Make connections.
There is an old saying that goes: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Well, you will need both to land your dream FNP role.
Reach out to clinical preceptors, NPs, PAs, and MDs you worked with in the past. If you know someone with a connection to the practice or clinic you are eyeing, be sure to tell them you are on the hunt for your first FNP position.
Joining state or national nurse practitioner organizations is a great way to network and to stay informed about your profession. Be sure to bring business cards and to connect with people you meet via LinkedIn when possible.
3. Think outside the box.
Your range of skills as an FNP are useful in areas you may have never considered. NPs are often employed by military bases, correctional facilities, large corporations, educational institutions, and more.
Beyond unconventional healthcare settings, you could also find your position in non-clinical environments. Healthcare text publishers, nursing education organizations, health technology companies, and community wellness nonprofits are just a few of many nontraditional employment options for FNPs.
Preparedness, passion, and positivity will take you where you need to go in your new career as a family nurse practitioner. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities and forge the path that works for you.
Fitzgerald is on your side
No matter where you are on your FNP journey, Fitzgerald Health Education Associates provides the resources and tools you need to accomplish your goals and sharpen your skills. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions about FNP certification or continuing education options.