With the current nurse practitioner job market saturation in some parts of the United States, it’s important to stand out from other nurse practitioners. What can you offer to patients that other advanced practice registered nurses can’t? How can you bring more services to your practice? How can you show your potential or current employer that hiring you is/was a good idea? As nurse practitioners, we should strive to be self-sufficient, confident, and up-to-date in our care.
Here are a few tips to becoming a well rounded nurse practitioner.
- Control the imposter syndrome. Feelings of doubt, insecurities, lack of confidence, and afraid someone will call you a fraud, affects many nurse practitioners. Not only do new grad nurse practitioners experience imposter syndrome, but also experienced nurse practitioners (read about my struggles with imposter syndrome here). Working on these limiting beliefs and rewriting into positive thoughts is the first step to overcoming imposter syndrome. Also remembering to take action! We can easily get stuck in analysis paralysis and taking any action step is the best way to overcome the imposter syndrome. An object in motion will stay in motion.
- Knowing what you know and don’t know. This is so important when practicing as a nurse practitioner! There is so much information in healthcare and it is always changing! Being aware of your current knowledge and limits is important to becoming a well rounded nurse practitioner. Never be afraid to tell a patient you don’t know the right answer. And always know the resources that are available! I once had a neurosurgeon ask me the dosage of miralax and how to write the order. This physician could do brain surgery but did not know how to write an order for an OTC medication 🤣. The doctor knew his limits and wasn’t afraid to admit them. He also believed in safe practice for the patient! Knowing what you know and don’t know helps you feel confident and safe as a nurse practitioner.
- Interpreting radiology scans. I don’t know about you, but I had about a 30 minute class on reading X-rays in my nurse practitioner program. While I don’t order X-rays or CTs everyday at work, I am in primary care and need to interpret the tests. Learning to read these radiology scans can help us become a well rounded nurse practitioner. Maybe you work at a location that doesn’t have a radiologist over reading the scan. Or maybe you work in the urgent care, hospital, or emergency department where you need to know the status of the patient in a timely manner. If you struggle with this, check out Skills on Point, LLC. Skills on Point offers online and in person classes on topics such as suturing, X-Ray interpretation, EKG interpretation, pharmacology, lab value interpretation, and so much more! Many of the courses are approved for continuing education hours by AANP or ANCC. Interpreting radiology scans helps us become well rounded nurse practitioners.
- Doing procedures. I had very little experience doing procedures as a nurse practitioner student. When I started my first nurse practitioner job, I had an awesome physician teach me how to do a few! I can now help patients with steroid joint injections, sebaceous cyst removal, suture lacerations, skin lesion biopsy and removal, toenail removal (my least favorite 🤢), incision and drainage, etc. Being able to do these procedures allows the patient better care and not have to travel to see an orthopedic, dermatologist, etc. I also increase the RVUs in my own practice. Being able to do these procedures helps nurse practitioners become well rounded. If you would like more practice with suturing, cast/splinting application, etc. check out Skills on Point!
- Quality patient care. Providing up-to-date, evidence based care is important when caring for our patients. We should be informed of the latest updates and clinical practice guidelines. We should know about the medications we prescribe. As nurse practitioners, we should strive to provide quality, patient-centered care. Many nurse practitioners went into healthcare to make an impact on patients and help them to live their best, healthiest lives. Therefore, we need to provide our patients with the most up-to-date information and treatment plans. Healthcare is ever changing and there is no way to learn all the information. Having said that, as nurse practitioners, we should continue to grow your knowledge and apply that to the care of patients. That is why continuing education for nurse practitioners is so important.
Becoming a well rounded nurse practitioner not only helps us as nurse practitioners, but also helps our patients. If we can provide a service in our current practice, this will eliminate patients having to travel, save time, and money. Being a well rounded nurse practitioner also helps us feel confident and fulfilled in our own practice.
If you are looking to gain the skills or knowledge to become a well rounded nurse practitioner, check out the continuing education courses provided by Skills on Point. Use the link below to purchase and email email@example.com, I will send you a 10% off coupon code!
***Full disclosure: this is an affiliate link. Any courses that are purchased using this link, I will make a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you, but it does help me continue to run The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner! Thank you for your support and happy learning!
For time management and charting tips, check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting School– The one stop for all documentation resources created specifically for nurse practitioners. Learn more at www.npchartingschool.com