The Birth of a Nurse Practitioner


Welcome to the World lil one! Now start on those 99224s!

Many of my RN friends have asked me what it is like to transition to a nurse practitioner. Sometimes they don’t ask me at all, but I tell them anyway.  The best analogy I could come up with was being born.  Granted, I do not remember being born and neither do you…(you don’t!) (click here if you believe you do). However, after seeing the shock, surprise and anger my own children displayed after passing through the birth canal, I imagine it is not very pleasant.

Picture it, there you are, growing and surrounded in the womb known as “RN World”…warm and comfortable with your skill sets, experience, and freshly pressed scrubs. It was no cake walk to become an RN, you made sacrifices and learned the ropes. Now, after years in the RN role it is second nature. If you are still working while in school (wow), you may get to share the occasional interesting anecdote from clinical sites or lament about tests, professors, lack of sleep and papers with your “RN tribe”.  All is well, you smart, little grad student (I may be embellishing).

Then, you are 40 weeks gestation, you finally graduate and pass boards! Yay!  Your coworkers take you out for drinks to celebrate good times! You apply for licensure and after an exhaustive interview process and heavy negotiating you snag your first job. Yes, the labor pains have begun.


Gotta learn ABCs, 123s, CPTs & RVUs!

Suddenly, the rug is pulled out from under you. The world as you know it is caving in on you. You are forcibly expelled from the RN tribe and you are alone. Sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively but definitely alone. Eating lunch at your desk, watching old SNL skits on Youtube (I cannnot be the only one).  You are now in the cold, frightening world of being a “provider” placed on a conveyor belt moving constantly towards certain death (I may be embellishing).

Everything is new and strange and so much is expected of you.  The patients need competent care (although some refuse to even be seen by you), the practice needs revenue to pay overhead and staff, RNs you were cool with now make passive aggressive comments on you being rich now (hahaha).

You do not know it all and that drives you mad! Moving from expert nurse to novice nurse practitioner is not for the faint of heart.  You are waist deep in notes, coffee stained lab coats and sometimes target practice for people who hate advanced practice providers (APP). People will test you. Jealousy, fear or ignorance can be their driving force.

Alas, becoming a NP was your dream, you can’t go back now. Keep moving forward.  Read, research and plan. You make a tribe through networking, conferences and social media. Depending on how quickly you adapt, you adjust. You find your center. Make your way, find your flow and flourish. One day you wake up and it is all good.  Welcome to the NP world.


For Christy


1 thought on “The Birth of a Nurse Practitioner”

  1. I love this so much!! I will graduate in May and until I started working on being a FNP, I’d never had a panic attack. Somewhere along the way I was stripped of all self confidence. Thanks for the reassurance. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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