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New Year, New Job: Four Questions NPs and PAs Need to Answer

Posted on January 12, 2018   |   by   |   Interview Questions for NPs and PAs, Job Seekers, New Grads

Are you a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician Assistant considering a job change in 2018? Before you jump in, take a few minutes to create a roadmap to guide you. These four questions can point you toward your destination.

When we work with job seekers, we ask a lot of questions. This does two things. First, it helps us to understand your individual needs. Second, it gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you need and what is important to you.

If you’re embarking on a new job search, how would you answer the following questions? They look easy but read on. There’s more here than meets the eye.

What is Your Dream Job?

Every job has tasks that aren’t fun, but the weight of your responsibilities should fall to those things you truly enjoy. Your answer to this question says a lot about the career experiences that bring you the most satisfaction.

If you’re stuck on this, think about your ideal work setting. Is it inpatient or outpatient? What clinical area do you want to work in? Also, consider the type of people you like working with. Can you see yourself collaborating with residents and fellows in an academic environment? Or, do you prefer the additional responsibility and autonomy a non-academic or community hospital might offer?

For a deeper dive into defining your dream job, check out this article.

Are You Willing to Relocate?

It might seem like a simple yes or no answer, but this question brings up a range of possibilities.

A better way to look at it might be: “How far are you willing to relocate?” Your geographical boundary might be defined by the driving distance to your children’s school or your parent’s house. If family ties aren’t keeping you in place, are you up for moving to a different state?

Let’s say you’re an adventurous “up-for-anything” kind of person. If that’s the case, what kind of lifestyle would you want your new locale to support? Do you need to be near the mountains, close to a coast, or set on a subway line to the city?

Wondering if that new job is worth the hassle of relocation? Here’s how to tell.

What is Your Desired Salary?

It’s probably no surprise that this is a tricky question. But it would surprise you to learn just how many NPs and PAs aren’t aware of the average salaries and various compensation ranges there are for NP and PA jobs.

For that reason, be clear on your current salary. We recommend that you factor in your base salary plus any bonuses. Your compensation package probably includes additional benefits such as education reimbursement, paid vacation, and health insurance. The value of these benefits should not be included in your desired salary. But, you should assess the value of these benefits separately to compare them to future job offers. These benefits can provide an additional 20-30% in compensation.

It’s always a great idea to make sure your desired salary is in-line with national averages. Good news! We’ve made that data available to you in our latest Advanced Practice Salary Guide.  Please complete the survey and we will send you the latest salary information including a valuable data analysis.

When Are You Available to Start?

There’s no right time to start a new job. Based on our work with thousands of your peers, there can be unknown constraints worth considering.

Do you know what your current employment contract requires for giving notice? This might be anywhere from two weeks to 12 weeks. Then, check your calendar, because the period between jobs can be the perfect time to fit in a vacation. It’s important to give yourself enough time to transition effectively from one job to the next.

And don’t forget about timing the transition to benefit your family. School breaks and holidays are good times to consider a move with children. You may also have a partner that needs to find work. Depending on whether you are moving out of state, RN licensing timelines can be a long as 90 days. If your licensing or credentialing time is delayed, it may have a significant impact on your start day. 

New grads will experience a delay of two to three months as they complete their boards and become licensed to practice. Hospital credentialing is another requirement that can take 30-90 days to complete. Thinking through the impact of a delay on your finances and plans is important.

What Are Your Career Resolutions for 2018?

If you’re looking ahead to making a career change in the coming year, we’d love to help you. Review our current job opportunities and create your free Melnic Profile. We never charge a fee for candidates to work with us.


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