Sometimes in your nurse practitioner career you hit that point where you’re desperate to accept a job. Maybe you’re a new graduate and it seems that every employer in your area requires experience. So, you’re willing to accept whatever position comes your way. Or, maybe you are currently working in a bad situation. Your desperation to leave has you willing to sign just about any employment agreement that lands on your desk. Before you compromise, think about your decision carefully.
Here are a few signs you’re about to accept a job that may not be in your best interest.
1. Your commute is unsustainable
While driving 100 miles everyday for your dream position may seem like no big deal at first, no matter how much you like your job, the commute will get old. Quickly. You will begin to think about what you could be doing instead of your drive. Time for friends, family, exercise, cooking, or taking up a new hobby will win out. Even if you don’t ultimately do these things, knowing you could will seem much more attractive than wasting time behind the wheel.
Choose a nurse practitioner position with a sustainable commute or you could find yourself back on the job market within a matter of months.
2. Your contract seems sketchy
For whatever reason, there seem to be a lot of unfavorable nurse practitioner employment agreements out there. If terms seem sketchy when negotiating your contract, they probably are. Bonus incentives that aren’t clearly outlined are unlikely to be paid out. Job responsibilities that are not specifically delineated may very well change. Make sure you are signing an employment agreement that is clearly laid out and that you are comfortable with the terms. If your gut tells you something is off when it comes to your contract, you’re probably right.
3. You’re making deals under the table
If an employer is offering you cash off the books, run the other way. If you are being asked to treat patients without being officially employed in some capacity, don’t do it. Whether you’re a W-2 employee or a 1099 employee, you must have some sort of official documentation of your employment in place. Don’t agree to illegitimate (or illegal) terms in accepting a nurse practitioner position.
4. Something seems off about the clinic’s licensing standards
Accepting a job as a nurse practitioner involves a lot of paperwork. You need to make sure your malpractice insurance policy (Which type of malpractice policy is right for you?) is up to date. You will likely need to get credentialed so you are payed for the services you provide. If a clinic seems like it doesn’t follow standard licensing practices, be aware. This may be due to the type of services provided by the clinic or your employment arrangement but if you get the feeling a clinic is cutting corners when it comes to licensing practices, run the other way.
5. Your new employer won’t put promises in writing
When it comes to accepting a nurse practitioner job, a handshake means nothing. If your employer makes promises to you during the job interview and contract negotiation process, you must get them in writing. Your employer may be well intentioned but making sure terms are formally outlined ensures both you and your employer follow through with agreed upon conditions should a dispute arise at a later date. If your prospective employer won’t agree to including certain terms in writing, make sure you would still be happy with the position should these agreements fall through.
6. The clinic has noticeably high turnover
It’s OK to ask why a position has been vacated in an interview. If you get the sense that an employer churns through NPs, there’s probably a reason. Clinics and hospital departments with high turnover are a red flag. They may have unfavorable working conditions, have unreasonable expectations of nurse practitioners, or be poorly managed. There are an endless number of reasons employees may be resigning at a rapid rate from NP positions. Regardless of the ‘why’, a high turnover rate is a red flag that the position may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
7. You’re limiting your options for the future
Keep your five year plan in mind when you’re looking for a job. If you’re a new grad looking to get a solid foundation for a career in emergency medicine, accepting a position in a weight loss clinic isn’t going to do the trick. Taking a job in family practice is a better option. If you want to specialize in cardiology, working in pain management won’t help you accomplish your goal. If the position you are accepting could pigeon hole you in the future, you may want to think again.
8. Your gut tells you so
If something doesn’t seem right about an employment arrangement, it probably isn’t. Listen to your gut. If an aspect of your contract is off or you simply get bad feeling, pinpoint the reason behind your hesitation. Think through the implications of accepting the position as is. If the reasons behind your hesitancy are things you can live with, you may still consider accepting the position. If they aren’t, move on.
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