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Are You Ready for a Job Change? A 3-Step Guide for NPs and PAs

Posted on March 22, 2017   |   by   |   Job Seekers, Professional Development, Work Environment

If you are thinking about changing jobs, this guide can help you take a step back, assess your job situation, and gain insight into how to move forward in your Advanced Practice career.

Everyone has days when they don’t want to go to work, even nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs). However, there is a line separating the normal ebb and flow of work-life, and the very real signs that your professional path and your current position are no longer in alignment. When it comes to a job change, the question is, where does that line fall?

First, What Are You Expecting from a Job Change?

Try to remember when you first interviewed for your current role: What were your expectations for the position? What were your goals?

Advanced Practice providers take jobs for many different reasons. Remembering yours could help you evaluate the benefits, and clarify the doubts, affecting your employment situation.

Ask yourself:

  • Were my expectations met?
  • Did this position ultimately align with my professional goals?
  • How have my goals changed between then and now?

Once you’ve taken a moment to look back at your career, consider whether your current job as an NP or PA can help you advance professionally.

Second, What Can You Gain From a Job Change?

It’s a complex choice to consider, but there may be valid reasons directing you toward a career switch. To determine the right decision for you, it’s important to identify common reasons why other NPs and PAs change jobs.

  • Work Environment: The problem could be a difference of work-style between yourself and your co-workers, or perhaps the practice’s culture no longer fits your personality. Regardless, if you hesitate walking into your practice in the morning, it’s a strong indication that something isn’t clicking between you and your environment.
  • Job Recognition: NPs and PAs care about their work and strive to be respected members of their teams. Without acknowledgment and feedback from leadership, their professional growth suffers.
  • Utilization of Skills: Being an NP or a PA, it’s expected that work will sometimes be stressful. However, it should never be so stressful that your health is at risk, nor should it be unchallenging or fail to engage your full scope of practice. Balance in this area is necessary to a productive working life.

All of these aspects can contribute to a feeling of job dissatisfaction, which may lead to the question, “Where do I go from here?”

Third, Is it Possible to Change the Job You Have?

This may surprise you, but the answer is not to immediately decide to change jobs. Every job has its positives and negatives. Before beginning the job search, first see what you can do to improve the present situation.

Rather than venting to friends or co-workers, sit down with your manager and have an honest conversation about your concerns. Approach them with your frustrations, but do so with solutions in mind and a willingness to discuss your professional goals.

Sometimes, just opening up that dialogue can begin the process of creating a more favorable work environment. Other times, this process may clarify for you that your needs no longer align with your workplace. That’s okay, too.

Finally, Move Ahead on Your Job Search

Be proud of what you’ve accomplished. Enter your NP or PA job search confident that this is the decision you need to make at this time.

A job search can be a challenging process, and that difficulty starts before you send your first resume. Making a career change is no easy decision. You might consider a job search self-assessment, or building your professional network. Whatever choice you make, know it’s never wrong to explore how you can continue moving toward your professional goals and expectations.


Applying these job search strategies to PNP, NP, CNS, CRNA, Midwife, and PA job hunts can help you land the right job, leading to a more rewarding and satisfying career. Let Melnic help you make your goal a reality. Search our amazing job opportunities nationwide.

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