I received a request from my employer the other day for some credentialing paperwork. Yes, I have worked in the same position for years but due to a company buy-out it seems the credentialing process never ends. One license or another is constantly expiring, or lapses in what I would refer to as ‘administrative responsibilities’ require me to submit and re-submit copies of everything from my social security card to my flimsy BLS certificate. Nothing gives me a headache quite like the credentialing process.

As I’ve been drudging through my list of recent emails- send this license, send that license, please sign this form, you forgot to type the date on that form– I’ve developed quite a list of pet peeves when it comes to this unnecessarily complex process. Here’s what really irks me about getting credentialed as a nurse practitioner.

1. Emails typed in all caps or that contain highlighted phrases.

I simply don’t understand emails typed in all caps. Frankly, they are more difficult to read than those that are laid out plainly and simply. A better method? Use bullet points or numbered lists to get the message across. Whenever I receive an email written in caps I can only assume the person at the sending end has an abrasive personality. I don’t feel compelled to complete the requests of abrasive people in a timely manner.

Even worse than all-caps credentialing emailers are the email highlighters. Sentences surrounded by blinding yellow are, again, difficult to read. I skip over them because they blur my vision. A concise message will do. I get the point without the color enhancement.

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2. Labeling a documents as “time sensitive” and not having a proper timeline in place. 

This past summer I was enjoying a relaxing vacation at the lake with extended family when I received an email from my employer titled “DUE IMMEDIATELY” or something along those lines (all caps, of course). The email indicated I would not be able to work my next shift until required paperwork was complete. So, I ditched the campfire and sprung into action. I navigated the rusty remote wireless connection and finagled a printer/scanning arrangement submitting my documents that evening. Then, a few days later it was made known to me this paperwork wasn’t actually needed for a few more weeks. 

The timing of the credentialing process always seems to be off. Getting more streamlined processes and a timeline in place shouldn’t be that hard, right?

3. Using second-rate outside vendors. 

My employer uses a variety of vendors when it comes to the credentialing process. It seems I am always trying to log back in to some website that won’t allow me to use my standard password because it doens’t contain enough symbols. So, I spend my afternoon calling a 1-800 number to regain access. If you’re going to outsource something, use a quality firm (and one that accepts short passowrds).

In addition to licensing paperwork, my employer requires the completion of occasional online training modules. You know, the kind of videos that you let run on mute while clicking “next” whenever you walk past your laptop next. Pointless.

4. Complete lack of internal communication.

I’m always confused as to why multiple individuals working for my employer need a copy of my certifications and licenses. Wouldn’t it make sense to store these items in some sort of company wide database? Just a thought.

5. Who’s in charge here?

The credentialing process for my employer is pretty nebulous. I’m never exactly sure who’s in charge. I receive multiple emails from multiple parties. But, when I have a question or concern, who do I contact? Regardless of my pick, responses seem rare. I’m not one to kill the messenger, just give me an honest answer. Maybe I should start writing in all caps. 

I may be the only one with credentialing frustrations (although I doubt it), so, thank you for the venting platform.

What frustrations do you have with the nurse practitioner credentialing process?


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