A transition to an NP role is a crucial stage for any nursing student. Some factors to consider are the need to pass a state board certification and complete the necessary paperwork and application forms to begin working as an NP. It is easy to become overwhelmed when transitioning to an NP role, however, by assessing the potential barriers and issues, using mentorship, and online webinars, it is possible to reduce the stress from these career changes.
The main issue with transitioning to an NP role is being unprepared for the challenge of becoming a primary care provider. According to Faraz (2016), “recent findings indicate that as many as one-third of NPs change employment in the initial year of practice” (p. 1531). This issue is attributed to the stress and turbulence of the first year of practice when nurses are being acquainted with their roles. Hence, I would argue that the first strategy, which can assist me in preparing for the role transition to becoming an NP, is to assess the potential difficulties — by reading articles and studies, for example, Faraz (2016) discusses challenges that NPs face in detail.
An excellent way to prepare for a transition to an NP role is to identify the potential obstacles. Faraz (2016) argues that there are three significant barriers for novice NPs — the ambiguity of their positions, relationships at work, and intrinsic or extrinsic obstacles. Based on this assessment, the author suggests focusing on applying the expertise gained during the studies into a real-world setting. By having an understanding of potential problems, one can write down strategies to address these issues to be prepared when those arise. I can write down potential issues, for example, a fast-paced work environment and being unfamiliar with the practical implications of work. Next, it is necessary to prepare strategies to counter-strategies, for instance, ensuring to have enough time to sleep and maintain an excellent work-life balance.
Mentorship or the use of expertise and guidance from a more experienced individual can be used by novice NPs as a way of addressing the issue of unfamiliarity with the role. The next strategy is to communicate with other NPS and ask them about their advice and how they approached the transition. Horner (2017) recommends mentorship as one of the ways of managing this transition. In essence, mentorship implies that a more qualified individual, for example, an NP nurse who has several years of experience, helps maintain the workload and approach the new position. According to Horner (2017), a “reciprocal relationship between the mentor and the mentee can provide a new NP hire a sense of community and direct availability” (p. 7). For example, regulatory and reimbursement procedures may be confusing for a new professional, and despite the theoretical knowledge, an NP may struggle to work as a healthcare provider in practice due to these issues. A mentor, however, can show care and support, as well as explain some of the specifics of these procedures, helping a new NP both emotionally and practically.
Indirect engagement with NPs and educators, for example, through videos or webinars can help prepare for the transition. Thomson (2019) conducted a study where soon-to-be NPs participated in an online webinar that aimed to address the feelings of anxiety and stress associated with the transition. This educational webinar used evidence-based strategies to discuss how one can prepare for the role, and the outcomes suggest that nurses felt more prepared for the position. Based on this, one can suggest that viewing YouTube videos and participating in online or offline webinars that target the anxieties of future NPs can help them become more prepared for this role.
The final suggestion is to consider the changes that will happen in the novel NP’s life in terms of schedule and finances. As Thompson (2019) suggests, when transitioning from school to a work environment, it is essential to consider networking and budgeting. The first element is crucial to establish work connections and integrate into the new work environment. Moreover, through networking, one can overcome the anxiety of starting to work as an NP. Budgeting is needed to address the changing demands of students’ life as opposed to a working person’s life. In some cases, preparation for the examination may require additional funds to purchase textbooks. Later on, it is necessary to consider things, such as a commute to work. Bu addressing these everyday things, future NP can focus on their work responsibilities.
In conclusion, there are various ways of preparing for an NP role. Some of the brainstormed ideas discussed in this post are getting information about the potential problems that a new NP may face. Next, one can communicate with an experienced NP, and the latter can become a mentor who guides and provides advice. A future NP can also view webinars or videos to become familiar with their future job. The outlined strategies are only some ideas that arose after brainstorming strategies I can use based on information from peer-reviewed articles.
Horner, D. K. (2017). Mentoring: Positively influencing job satisfaction and retention of new hire nurse practitioners. Plastic Surgical Nursing, 37(1), 7-22(16). Web.
Faraz, A. (2016). Novice Nurse Practitioner workforce transition into primary care: A literature review. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 38(11), 1531–1545. Web.
Thompson, A. (2019). An educational intervention to enhance nurse practitioner role transition in the first year of practice. Journal of The American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 31(1), 24-32. Web.