As a new nurse practitioner graduate, my experience was pretty similar to many other NPs I talk with. I was fortunate that I found a job, but was quickly reminded that my experience was limited to that which I had obtained in my clinical rotations.
The clinic where I worked measured success based on patient volume. The more patients a provider treated, the more successful the employee was in the clinic owner’s eyes. While this is certainly understandable as patient visits drive revenue, it was not conducive to my overall growth as a nurse practitioner. Using resources to assist with my decision making, and taking time to ask questions of more experienced providers prevented me from working at a rapid pace. Despite working hard, I felt that I was not meeting expectations. This was highly frustrating as I wanted to be successful in my new career.
An emphasis on patient volume wasn’t the only thing that left me floundering as a new grad nurse practitioner. The support structure at the first clinic where I worked was slim. Experienced providers were under similar pressures to see more and more patients. Taking time out to help me meant they wouldn’t meet their own metrics for success. Furthermore, the clinic maintained weekend hours, staffed by a solo provider. Working alone as a new graduate NP was unsettling and left me with many questions. Fortunately, I did have the backup of the emergency department down the street, although this did not suffice as one-on-one mentorship.
My experiences as a new nurse practitioner always left me with the feeling that there had to be a better way to transition from clinical preceptorships as an NP student to the real-life world of employment in the clinical setting. While I wasn’t quite sure what was missing at the time, my thoughts eventually came full circle.
Talking with hundreds of nurse practitioners across the country who shared my experiences led to the development of ThriveAP’s residency-like program for nurse practitioners, ThriveAP+. You can think of the program as similar to Teach for America. Just like the way Teach for America matches high performing college graduates with schools across the country that work with students in need, ThriveAP+ matches nurse practitioners and physician assistants with clinics and hospitals that treat underserved populations or that are in underserved locations.
ThriveAP+ supports new nurse practitioners in three ways:
- Supportive facilities
- Supplemental curriculum
- Peer group
Clinics and hospitals participating in ThriveAP+ have expectations in line with what new grads can handle. They assign mentors to participating nurse practitioners who are experienced providers willing to help out day-to-day. ThriveAP+ participants see fewer patients giving them plenty of time to use resources and ask questions as needed.
Nurse practitioners participating in ThriveAP+ also enjoy the benefit of continued education. The ThriveAP+ experience kicks off in Nashville, TN at a two-day conference where each cohort meets in person, participates in skills and procedures labs (suturing, anyone?), and enjoys all that Nashville has to offer, of course! The education opportunity continues in a weekly online classroom. From “How to Start Insulin Therapy in Diabetic Patients” to “Considerations for Prescribing Across the Lifespan”, speakers hone in on topics that are practical and relevant to nurse practitioners’ practice.
Finally, nurse practitioners participating in ThriveAP+ have the benefit of a peer group. Who better to celebrate successes and support you through challenges than other NPs also transitioning to practice?
If you’re an NP interested in learning more about ThriveAP+, attend our live info webinar on April 24th at 5pm CST. Register to attend the event here. In the meantime, you can also find an info packet as well as the online ThriveAP+ application here.
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