i love being a nurse practitioner in arizona. we have the same practice authority as a doctor. so we can do everything a doctor does. in arizona you have to be a nurse for two years before you can apply to nurse practitioner school. you can apply that valuable nursing experience to being a nurse practitioner. i have worked in an outpatient internal medicine doctor's office for 10 years and it's the best job i've ever had. i love it. i have a lot of control over my schedule and how many patients i see a day. i work part time but could work full time if i wanted to. i typically see urgent care type patients in the office. that means patients who woke up with a problem that day. like a sinus infection, or abdominal pain, or a terrible headache or they fell... i love this kind of patient because they usually have a problem that only requires one or two steps of intervention to get well. if you choose to work in job where you care for folks with chronic conditions they usually never get "well". that gets me down. but some people love it! you'll find out what you love when you get there. i typically see a patient for 20-40 minutes. i work 4 hour shifts. i will ask them to tell me their symptoms. then i will decide on the diagnosis. then based on the diagnosis i will follow the medical guidelines to formulate and plan of care which could involve me ordering a prescription, or imaging like and xray or cat scan, make referrals to physical therapy or another specialist and most of all do patient teaching!!! the most important thing. you could be a genius healthcare provider but if you don't share what you know with your patient on a level they can understand they won't get well. so explain how they need to finish all of their antibiotic and the rationale for why that is important! tell them how to take their antibiotic and write it down for them. teach them about the effects and side effects of the drug etc., that is the most time consuming part. but the most rewarding part. my patients tell me thank you in huge ways all the time and i love it. they also constantly tell me how much they love me. when i work at home i will be scrubbing the toilet and my kid and husband are like "what's for dinner?" not many thank you's at home. so working with patients is my jam. very rewarding.
finally if it's super busy i may get stuck charting at home a few hours sometimes. you don't get paid extra for this time. but i do get bonuses 4x year and some profit sharing at the end of the year which can really add up to a lot of money. i highly recommend this job!
Matthew gave a great over view of the profession. I personally worked in both Cardiology and Internal medicine offices before becoming the director of a Heart Failure Clinic that was hospital based. In the Cardiology office, I did the admission history and physical on the patients that needed to be admitted and I did rounds on all of our inpatients. I consulted with the Cardiologist on all of these before writing the orders and plan. In the office I saw patients fairly independently. My hours were technically 8A-5P but often ran longer when issues arose. In Internal Medicine, I also saw my own case load of patients and did some small procedures. Again, my day was supposed to be 8-5 but there were usually phone calls that had to be made so my day often went to 6 pm or later. In the heart failure clinic I had a regular case load and also went into the hospital to see any of my patients that had to be admitted. I also learned how to interrogate pacemakers and had multiple patients with implanted heart pressure monitors that had to be assessed daily.
Each specialty will have it's own unique job requirements and skills you will learn. It's always interesting and rewarding. I highly recommend it.
Your specialty will determine what you do. In a family practice clinic, for example, you will see patients throughout the day. You may perform physical exams, sick visits, or follow-ups on chronic diseases such as diabetes. In the past, I worked as a nurse practitioner in a primary care clinic. My day was primarily busy and I was on my feet a lot.
Additionally, I worked as a nurse practitioner doing home visits and telehealth. A typical day would include approximately six to eight home visits. Medicare members would receive an annual visit from me. An average visit would last 30-45 minutes, including health screenings and educational materials. I enjoyed the autonomy of this type of work, but it involved a great deal of driving. I also worked from home performing Medicare's annual health examinations. During the video call, the visit would be conducted in a similar manner to an in-person visit. Having this type of work does not require driving, which is nice. It offers a great deal of flexibility. I also worked in public health as a nurse practitioner. On a mobile health van, I would do physicals and sick visits at high schools and elementary schools. I enjoyed being assigned to different schools as part of this job. As a nurse practitioner, a typical day depends on the type of setting and specialty you work in. As a nurse practitioner, you can choose from a wide variety of job settings which will determine how your day may go.