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Your CV, A Professional Roadmap for Clinical Leaders, APRNs, and PAs

Posted on August 27, 2020   |   by   |   Advanced Practice Structure, Job Seekers, Professional Development

Your CV for Clinical Leaders is your Professional APRN or PA Roadmapthe outline of your educational and professional history. It is a tool used to tell your professional story, track your accomplishments, and reflect on where you are headed. You can take advantage of this CV update tool and regularly update your CV to use it as a professional document.  

By simple definition, according to Dictionary.com,  a curriculum vitae (CV) is “an outline of a person’s educational and professional history, usually prepared for job applications.” However, APRN and PA candidates generally submit resumes with job applications for clinical positions, whereas CVs are often preferable for academic opportunities.  Regardless, it is important for all Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) to keep and maintain both.

How to Update Your CV and Track Your Accomplishments?

1.Track your accomplishments 1x a week, or even every day

2.Review your accomplishments 1x a month

3.Update your CV 1 x quarter

4.Celebrate your accomplishments after you update them

a. Go to dinner with your mentor, support network, and celebrate!

5.Review your accomplishments annually and then build upon the ones you enjoyed most to create new goals for the following year

Most people think of a CV as merely a chore to be updated when applying for jobs. Rather, updating it as you go helps you to track accomplishments, goal setting, and career plans. 

Either weekly or monthly, reflect on your accomplishments. Did you join a new committee or professional organization this month? Start precepting a student? Give a presentation? Receive an award? Often we go about our days without taking the time to recognize our own progress. Sitting down quarterly to update your CV helps to guide this internal reflection. A mentor in the field can also be a helpful sounding board and keep you on track towards your goals. Furthermore, having your CV updated will be beneficial as you prepare for annual performance evaluations and/or negotiations. 

How can you use your CV?

Your CV is your professional document. Use it for:

  1. During employer evaluations
  2. When you join professional associations  
  3. When you run for an office in your professional organization
  4. When applying for internal promotions
  5. When you coach or mentor other leaders or peers 
  6. In other professional situations

Let Your CV Tell Your Professional Story:

The purpose of a resume is to portray a concise overview of your experiences, skills, qualifications, and overview of your professional achievements. On the other hand, a CV is a deep dive into all your professional achievements. Many healthcare provider CVs are 10 pages or longer.  

A good place to start is with where you obtained your education. APPs should include credentials such as licensure and specialty certifications. Next, chronologically list professional experiences as an APP.* 

*New graduates and those early in their APP careers should include related work prior to becoming a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner. Examples include, but are not limited to, work as a medical assistant, certified nurse aide, EMT, or nurse, research roles, public health jobs, and more. These experiences are key pieces of the story of how you got to where you are today. These experiences tell about your exposure to the healthcare field and speak to your commitment to patient care. 

Then, consider all the ways you have been involved as an NP or PA beyond direct clinical care. Examples of subcategories may include:

  • Professional organization/societies
  • Committee activity
  • Presentations and publications
  • Academic appointments 
  • Teaching activities and precepting roles
  • Honors and awards
  • Research activities and grants
  • Quality improvement activities
  • Editorial review activities
  • Original contributions
  • Volunteer activities 

Know that it is okay if your CV lacks many or most of these categories, especially at first! Writing out where you’ve been thus far is a necessary step to figuring out which road to travel next. At any point in your career, you have the opportunity to map out goals for the year to engage professionally.  

Staying goal-oriented is a key to success, but it is important to make time to enjoy your accomplishments, too. Milestones deserve to be celebrated!

How Will You Build Your Brand in Healthcare?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing goals that shine on your CV.  While a paper cannot tell the full story of who you are, what roads you’ve chosen to travel down does say a lot about where your efforts lie.  Learn how to build your personal brand as a NP or PA in order to create a CV that tells your story.

Finding your passion will help you set goals that will ultimately become highlights of your CV. For example, someone interested in a research-heavy role will want to highlight research activities, publications, and awards. Alternatively, an APP applying for a leadership position should focus on teaching/precepting experiences and administrative experience. An Oncology APP candidate who  also volunteers with The Make-a-Wish Foundation shows that her passion for her work extends beyond the walls of the hospital. 

Despite the fact that a CV is a list of your prior accomplishments, it does indeed say a lot about your future. Receiving an award for academic excellence speaks to your ability to succeed. Working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant tells an employer you enjoy mentoring others and will be open to precepting students. Involvement in research suggests you’ll be interested in Quality Improvement initiatives. Leading within your department suggests you will be willing to take on bigger leadership roles. There are many paths to your passions and achievements, take the time and energy to find yours, and make it happen!

How to Create a Professional Legacy for APRNs and PAs

As you build out your CV,  it will not only show where you’ve been your CV will also hint at where you are going. Ask yourself: 

What legacy do I want to leave behind as an APP? 

How do I want to be remembered?

Where do I want to have an impact?

What is worth the effort?

What would I give up to achieve my goal?

Use your CV as a roadmap to create goals, tell your story and create your legacy.  Use the questions above to brainstorm and set the course for what you want to achieve.

For example, if you ultimately want to teach NP or PA students in the academic setting, consider what the steps are to getting there. As a new graduate, focus on gaining experience, soaking up knowledge, and becoming the best clinician you can be. As you progress through your career and gain confidence, seek opportunities to give back and share this knowledge. Precept and mentor students in the clinical setting. Seek out opportunities to present or speak publicly. Consider advancing your education through a Ph.D. program, Masters in Business (MBA) or Healthcare Administration (MHA), or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) for NPS. 

Get Started Updating Your CV Today!

The road to professional development is yours! With our years of experience and research in APP staffing, Melnic is here to help you along your journey. Learn more about how to write your NP or PA CV, view a sample CV, and download our free Melnic Sample CV here. 

Guidebook for New APPs

Resources for APP and Clinical Leadership

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