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So You Want to Be a Nurse Practitioner? Not So Fast…… It’s Harder Than You Think

Salimah Jones APRN, FNP-C

There’s no doubt that nursing offers enormous opportunities to grow and advance. Nurses are furthering their education and careers in record numbers. In recent years, more nurses have been pursuing advanced practice degrees and certifications. Of these, one of the most popular is training to become a nurse practitioner. Nurse Practitioners are healthcare providers and are able to manage patients in healthcare settings similar to physicians. They can diagnose, order tests, prescribe medications, and can either be in charge of the healthcare team or work collaboratively with other physicians, depending on their state and practice setting. In addition to more autonomy, many nurse practitioners enjoy the additional benefits of earning significantly higher salaries, having more ideal work schedules, and a role that carries a higher level of prestige.

The majority of NP programs will require 2-4 years of additional fulltime study beyond a bachelor’s degree, depending on whether a master’s or doctoral degree is pursued. This may sound like a simple process for those that have not done it…..just go back to school for a few more years and you are on your way to a better role with better pay. Unfortunately, it is not that easy and this is a lesson that many new NPs have to learn the hard way.

Harsh Reality

The time it takes to begin working as a NP after graduation can actually take several months. There are many reasons for this which include: having to pass the NP board exam, obtaining official licensure and certification, insurance contracting, obtaining hospital privileges, and having to apply for various other credentials; such as a drug enforcement agency (DEA) number, national provider identifier (NPI), Medicare and Medicaid numbers etc. This doesn’t even take into consideration the time to locate and apply for jobs, interview, and conduct salary negotiations. Traditionally, very little is taught on these subjects in school and the entire process can cause a great deal of anxiety and disappointment to new graduate NPs, who are excited to get started in their careers as soon as they complete their programs.

But wait…..There’s Hope!

I recently came across an organization with a mission to help address this problem. Np2Be is a company that helps new graduate nurse practitioners by providing them with the necessary resources on how to obtain NP licensure. After struggling through this process themselves, and later discovering that their NP students experienced that same frustrations they did, the co-founders Nesrene Clossman and Lauren Indorf saw that there was an unmet need, and embarked on a journey to help bridge the gap.

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Starting this company was something that the founders were really passionate about, however they experienced many challenges along the way. Their biggest obstacle was overcoming their own self-doubts, and wondering whether their company could be successful. However they knew that they were offering high quality services and invaluable resources to their new professional counterparts. After receiving an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from the program graduates, they knew this was something they needed to continue. They now have a message for nurses who are wanting to start their own companies: “be prepared to persevere through adversity and remain confident in your products and services.”

Since the company launched in 2015, Np2Be has helped new graduate NPs become licensed in 25 states! The company has partnered with Case Western Reserve University, Radford University, and Augsburg College to provide services to their Family Nurse Practitioner program graduates. The co-founders also enjoy being guest speakers and presenting to the graduating classes, all the things that are “new provider” related. They discuss negotiating salary, interview tips, job experiences, and out-of-the box NP opportunities.

I can certainly attest that having an organization like this available when I graduated from NP school would have been extremely helpful. If you or anyone you know is considering becoming a nurse practitioner, I strongly suggest you consider Np2Be’s services. To learn more about the company you may visit their website at www.np2be.com/get-started or email the co-founders at nesrene@np2be.com or lauren@np2be.com

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About the Author

Hi I’m Salimah Jones, I am a Family Nurse Practitioner, author, and Founder of The Nursing Guidean online community dedicated to helping aspiring and current nurses overcome life’s challenges to achieve their professional goals. Coming from a disadvantaged background, and having experienced the struggles of pursuing a career while working and raising a family, I am now dedicated to helping others find ways to make their dreams a reality. I provide practical solutions to help those who are struggling with finances, learning difficulties, motivation, work-life-balance, or lack of a social support system. I want to show you how to conquer any challenge so that you can become your own success story. Please subscribe to this blog and don’t forget to sign up for your free membership on The Nursing Guide Website. Connect with me on twitter @salimahjones.

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2 thoughts on “So You Want to Be a Nurse Practitioner? Not So Fast…… It’s Harder Than You Think

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