A bumpy transition into the role of an FNP

Sometimes, stepping into a new professional role takes longer than expected.
Sometimes, stepping into a new professional role takes longer than expected.

I'd like to say welcome back. I haven't written in a while and I'm sorry. It's been a busy few months between family things and adjusting to my new role as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). I've missed writing these blogs, and I hope to make this a more regular occurrence as I transition my writing from the perspective of a student to a neophyte nurse practitioner.

First, I want to say I love my job, and I enjoy my new role as an FNP. That being said, it took way longer than expected to get here. I graduated and passed boards in August 2015. My plans were to immediately get my license and start practicing. But like Mr. Murphy says, the best plan doesn't last the first 3 seconds of contact. I didn't realize it would take my state nearly 2 months to issue a license/certificate as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). 

That was a setback, but I still had a plan and was ready to go.

Except that my new job – which I love – requires all credentialing and licensing to be in place prior to starting. That was a kick in the gut that cost me another 2 months, during which I became a fantastic househusband and was able to catch up on a lot of missed television.

One of the things that I didn't realize before was the amount of time you may be required to wait to receive all of the necessary paperwork that your new role requires. You may be lucky enough to be allowed to start without it and work under a supervising provider, or you may have to wait, unemployed, like me – that's a good question to ask when interviewing.

My Christmas present last year was being able to finally start my new career. I have to say, 4 months in, that I really do love it. Sure, the admin work is less than fun, and there is a whole new level of frustrations in this role, but it's worth it. The connections I have made with my patients are very fulfilling. Diagnosing conditions, recommending treatment and having patients thank me is such an ego boost. Coming home after telling a young mother that she has cancer is one of the most sobering things I have ever done, and makes me love my family even more. Then one day, when I realized that I am the PROVIDER, and that patients are looking to me to make the right decisions – I knew that this was what I was meant to do and wouldn't trade it for anything.

Sean P. L'Huillier, FNP-C, is a recent graduate of Georgetown University's Family Nurse Practitioner program. He works and lives in northwest Arizona.

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