There are certain hard skills and educational requirements that are obvious must-haves for every field, but what less quantifiable traits make for a successful Nurse Practitioner? We spoke with hiring professionals to find out, and compiled this list of four qualities you need to succeed.
Working in healthcare can be difficult, to say the least. It can be both physically and emotionally draining, with burnout an ongoing problem for many in the field. Just going through the motions and slogging through your day-to-day without a sense of purpose or drive is not the way to succeed. Having passion—be it for helping people, acquiring knowledge, or your career as a whole—is essential to offset the everyday strains of your position and help you thrive.
As for any patient-facing role in healthcare, you will need scores of empathy to succeed as an NP. Though, from time to time, patients may come to you when they are well, the majority of the people seeking your services are, at best, under the weather. This, of course, calls for you to put the “care” in “healthcare” and be sensitive to their feelings and understanding of what they are going through. A little empathy can go a long way, not only in terms of keeping patients happy, but also for your practice’s bottom line. As a recent study found, bedside manner was the most motivating factor for patients to leave positive reviews, and the most common attributes mentioned in negative reviews were “rude” and “unprofessional.”
A primary care NP sees, on average, 20 or more patients per day, with some estimates putting patient load as high as around 30 patients per day. That doesn’t leave a provider much time for breaks, be they of the restroom or lunch variety. To thrive in a fast-paced field such as this, day in and day out, your endurance must be top of the line, and you should be well versed in thinking on your feet, while literally on your feet all day long.
Being an NP is not for the faint of heart. It takes will, determination, and in a lot of cases, thick skin. The profession is frequently on the receiving end of attacks from physicians who are displeased with NPs seeking autonomy, while, simultaneously, being plagued by a deadly serious burnout problem. It isn’t easy and it isn’t for everyone. However, those with tenacity will certainly thrive.
Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.