As I neared graduation from my nurse practitioner program, I longed for an adventure. A packed graduate school schedule and limited student budget had effectively squashed hopes of an exotic vacation during NP school, so I looked for ways to get out of town while launching my nurse practitioner career.
After connecting with a recruiter abroad, I settled on New Zealand as my destination of choice. Proximity to beaches, mountains, and other exotic locales made the country the perfect place for a year-long working getaway. As I yearningly searched for an ocean view apartment and looked into visa applications, I made a few disappointing discoveries. First, the laws governing nurse practitioners in the country at the time did not allow NPs to practice without four years of prior nursing experience. This, I did not have. Second, compensation for NPs in New Zealand was significantly lower than that in the U.S. making the move financially impossible.
While I regret that I didn’t have the opportunity to travel and practice abroad, I remained passionate about the need for post-graduate nurse practitioner education. My transition from NP school to practice was rocky. An opportunity to work through new grad challenges in a practice that understood my skill set and set expectations accordingly would have provided for a much smoother career path.
So, ThriveAP is launched a new residency-like program for nurse practitioners, ThriveAP+. The education and supportive practice environment provided by the program helps inexperienced NPs get their careers started out on the right foot. Not only do we hope you will consider participation in ThriveAP+ for the educational content, but also for the spirit of a service-learning adventure!
ThriveAP+ brings motivated, energetic nurse practitioners to underserved communities across the country. Even if you can’t see yourself working with the homeless population in NYC for a lifetime, or relocating permanently to Montana’s Wild West, spending a year exploring and getting your practice up to speed is an unforgettable experience. Not to mention, nurse practitioners participating in the program earn a salary of $65K, more than most post-graduate training opportunities.
Spending a year in an unfamiliar location with people you might not otherwise encounter brings perspective and richness to your current and future practice. Many times NPs express frustration that they don’t feel like they are making an impact. Practicing in an underserved community, however, is different. With a one year commitment to working with an underserved population, nurse practitioners can help patients who might not have otherwise had access to care, all while improving their clinical skill set.
With ThriveAP+, you might find yourself spending weekends whitewater rafting in Montana, hiking Northern California’s redwood forest, or taking a quick side trip to explore surrounding states. You might camp on a West Coast beach, or go snow skiing in Appalachia. If the outdoors aren’t your thing, you might consider an urban location like DC, instead trying new restaurants and checking out museums or shows. Take a chance with ThriveAP+ opening up your year post-graduation to the unexpected.
Whatever your motivation for applying to ThriveAP+, we encourage you to keep an open mind. Embrace the adventure that post-graduate training can bring!
It’s not too late to apply for 2018 ThriveAP+ cohorts! Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Start your application today.