First things first, congrats on recently graduating or passing your board exam! You probably feel like taking a few (thousand) deep breaths, but know that your LWES Family is very proud of you. School is the hardest part of your nurse practitioner journey, especially for those working, taking care of their family, and just doing all the things in the midst of a pandemic. But you did it and you should be beyond proud of yourself.
We know what you must be thinking now. What’s next? You’re likely filled with so many questions and you feel like you have no one to answer them, but we have your back.
After you’ve graduated from school, passed your exams, and started your practice, now is the time to address CEU requirements. AANP and ANCC have slightly different requirements, but if you’re working full-time or even part-time, you'll easily hit this requirement. This is the easy part. The hard part is remembering to submit your information and recertify in five years' time. If you miss this deadline, you’ll have to take the NP exam again and no one wants that kind of negativity. Set a reminder on your calendar five years from now so you do not miss this deadline.
Apply for Your APNP License
Now, secondly, after you have that certification, check your State and apply for your NP license. Not all States, but most of them. Once you pass your exam, your board exam, you will need to apply for your State APRN license. And so most of them will require this step and it's imperative that you do not miss it, if you do and you get a job and you begin practicing, you'll be practicing illegally. We don't need this type of negativity in our life. Set a reminder to follow up on this step.
DEA or NPI? Which One Do I choose?
Many of you have asked whether or not you should get your DEA or NPI. The answer is really very subjective. It depends on the following factors: (1) your job, (2) whether or not they may pay for it, or (3) whether you feel that you will need it or not. The fee associated with a license is between $700-$800, so we suggest you do your own research and investigate if it’s the right decision for you.
I Can't Find a Job, Help!
As a new grad, you might be hearing that the market is over-saturated and find a job will be impossible. Let us be the first to tell you this is not true and to not subscribe to that line of thinking. Answer this, if the market was truly over-saturated, then why do you see such a plethora of NP positions? If the market was truly saturated, there would be one to two positions available for thousands and thousands of people. If we open Indeed right now, we'd be pleasantly surprised to see a lots of NP positions available.
All this means is you have to stand out. Simply graduating is not enough. Do you speak a different language? Do you have some special skills that can make you stand out against everyone else? You have to stand out on paper first before you can showcase yourself in front of a panel at an interview. Simply “blanket applying” to jobs is also not a long-term strategy you want to be embark on. Be realistic about expectations and own your worth as a provider. The job search grind is a journey and a process. It’s going to take some time, maybe some months, and definitely some sacrifice in order to get the position of your dreams.
What Other Resources Are Available to Me?
There are so many online tools, groups, and resources available for all practicing NPs across various digital platforms. For example, have you searched LinkedIn and Facebook for free groups you can join? Take a look and you’d be surprised what resources are on social media platforms. At LWES, we have a special group dedicated to supporting practicing practitioners called The NP Collective. This is our community of aspiring and currently practicing NPs that foster long-lasting friendships, mentorships, and networking opportunities to help you take your career to the next level. One of the biggest benefits of The NP Collective is that this exclusive group gives you many opportunities to receive CEU credits while doing fun activities that build relationships and harden skills. Learn more about this collective here.
We hope that this blog and checklist have given you the tools to move forward in your career with confidence. You should be incredibly proud of passing your exams and deserve some time to enjoy yourself and take a nice vacation. Congratulations to making it this far, and know that this is only the beginning.
We answered a few questions, but if you need any additional help with post-exam duties, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always here for you.