Tips for New Graduate Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants to Find Your First Job

Finding your first Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant job


Being a new graduate is exciting and you’re ready to get started. But finding your first job can be a challenge. Catch 22 – to get a good job you need experience but you need the job to get the experience.  So what can you do as a new graduate to find your first job?



First Job Basics:

Make sure your resume is well formatted and up to date. Be sure to list your clinical rotations and a sentence or two on what duties and any procedures you performed. Check and update your social media accounts. And if you don’t have a LinkedIn Profile, create one as more healthcare employers use them to locate potential candidates.


Tips to finding your first job:


START EARLY – start your search while you’re still in school, the last three months or so. And do well in school. It’s always a plus to note a high GPA or an award, etc. on your resume.


BE FLEXIBLE – you might not get your first choice or the specialty you dreamed of when you graduated. For example – getting a job in the ER is difficult without experience. Also consider working a less desirable shift (nights, etc.) to get your foot in the door.


CONSIDER RELOCATION – if you can, open your searches to areas fifty to one hundred miles out of your area. This can increase your chances of finding a new NP and PA job. Smaller cities or even rural locations can offer opportunities and a willingness to train new graduates. You may need to relocate to get the experience you need.


SOMETHING DIFFERENT? – other than hospitals and physician practices, there are other types of positions that might consider new grads like corporations, prisons/jails, retail clinics, cruise ships, etc. And don’t forget the government and military bases.


DON’T FORGET THE NHSC (NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE CORPS) PROGRAM – offering loan repayment, many of these locations are in mostly rural areas can be more open to new graduates.  https://connector.hrsa.gov/connector/


STAY POSITIVE – it can be discouraging but keep at it and send your resume and short, well written cover letter. Don’t be shy and ask your clinical sites if they are looking or know of another practice/doctor that might need an Advanced Practice Provider.


Don’t give up! Be confident in what you can offer. You worked hard and you can do this too.


Check out our current openings here, a few will consider new graduates!



Happy PA Week


We want to thank you for your hard work, your compassion and extensive knowledge which makes a difference in the lives of people everyday.


Physician Assistants Rock!

Happy PA Week



How To Answer – Tell Me About Yourself

“Tell me about yourself.” The most dreaded interview question. It’s almost always asked and easily  flubbed. Eyes grow wide and there’s confusion accompanied by stuttering. But why? Sure it’s a boring question but as a Advanced Practice Provider, you can make it interesting with a great answer.

Changing your thinking can make – tell me about yourself – the beginning of a great interview and maybe a brand new job. You just have to change how you see the question.


First, your answer needs to show confidence. Don’t hesitate like you don’t know who you are. You know! Make sure your response is concise, honest and enthusiastic. Show them right off the bat that you are sure of yourself and what you can bring to the company. Your goal is answer the question and make good impression right from the start.


Tell Me About Yourself Question Do’s and Don’ts:


  • Don’t tell them your entire life story
  • Don’t talk about every job – in essence a verbal resume
  • Don’t give a long rambling answer
  • Don’t ask questions like – do you mean me as a person or my jobs? Or What do you want to know? You might as well say, I’m unprepared and give the job to someone else.



Remember, this question is about selling your professional self. It’s important because it sets the tone of the rest of the interview.

  • Prepare – take time and write out your answer to the question.
  • Practice. Practice. Practice.
  • Though your answer is about you – it’s really about them and what are going to do for them as a Advanced Practice Provider.
  • Think about which of your strengths and/or achievements are relevant to the job.
  • Research – find the job description so you’re sure you know what they feel is important for the position.

Prepare your Tell Me About Yourself Answer:

As you work on your answer, think about it in three parts: Who are you now / Why your skills or why you / Why you are a good fit

  • Part one – Who are you now – I’m a Nurse Practitioner  or Physician Assistant working with a busy internal medicine practice and see 15-20 patients daily. I’ve been working as NP for the past five years and love it.
  • Part two – Why you? What makes you special – what you’ve achieved, show off your skills. Giving examples or telling a brief story can help make you even more compelling. My background includes working in the ER prior to this job and I am able to handle a fast paced environment. Patients respond well to me and I enjoy helping them.
  • Part three – show them why you’re a good fit. I’m very excited about this job; it’s where I see my career as a NP/PA going. I’m excited about to be able to use the cardiology skills I gained with my current practice more extensively with your practice. And I read that Dr. So and so has just started a community program that I’d love to be apart of.   You get the idea; a little extra research never hurts.

Being prepared and ready to answer this question makes sure you start your interview on a positive note.




How to help the victims of Hurricane Florence and not get scammed

After getting through Hurricane Irma, I know firsthand what a hurricane can do to your life. No electricity for days can mean hundreds of dollars of wasted food. Hunting for gas and long lines, piles of dirty clothes, no fence, messy yard – it never seems to end. And it can take months to get everything back to “normal”.


Knowing strangers care about you does much more than you think.


First thing – make sure you’re working with real charities.

  • Be wary of charities that seem to suddenly appear in the wake of hurricane disasters.
  • Check out Charity Navigator which has a page listing highly rated charities for hurricane victims. Many have ties to the community Also Charity Watch lets you check if a charity is rated or accredited.
  • Better Business Bureau is also a good way to check and see if the business is established.

Here are some local and national suggestions to help the people of North and South Carolina hit by the hurricane.

Global Giving is one to consider. The fund works with local organization to provide help to survivors offering emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine and long term recovery assistance.


North Carolina set up a site to donate to the recovery needed.


South Carolina – has a site set for recovery efforts that helps fund non profits and was created by the former governor.


Donors Choose – is accepting cash donations to help teachers care for their students and restock their classrooms.


Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina – They note that for every $10 you give, the Food Bank can provide 50 meals.


Salvation Army – you can make a donation on their site.


Red Cross – you can donate money on their website and they always need volunteers.


Great story of a 4 year old girl named Florence, helping the victims of the Hurricane that bears her name.


5 Steps to Finish Your Year Strong

It’s September and we have about 100 days left in 2018. We’ve written goals and resolutions. Some of us are farther along than others this year. But the year isn’t over yet and 100 days can be plenty of time to finish your year strong.

Here are some tips to help you finish 2018 strong:

Review – take the time and review what you wanted to accomplish in 2018. Log your successes first and then write down what you still want to get done. Look at what’s worked and what hasn’t.


Plan – decide which are the things you are most likely to be able to complete in the next 3 1/2 months. Don’t forget down time for holidays and vacations as you plan. Write down the steps required to get it done. Be creative and don’t be afraid to try something different. Finishing strong will take a plan and maybe changing your habits and how you’ve been doing things.


Action – hard part – the actual work required to complete the goal. What steps, action and number of days it will take to meet the goal. Stop procrastinating, action is required. Do something every day! Be proactive.


Schedule  – create the time required to meet the goals. Set aside the resources (time, money, etc.) so that you can complete your plan of action. Use your phone calendars to help.


Be Accountable – if you take the time to create a 3 month plan, set up the actions required – be accountable – plain and simple.


And finally – take care of yourself. It’s hard to finish strong if your body is weak. Eat well, get enough sleep and exercise. And have fun.



Take a look at our current jobs here: Advanced Practice Provider Jobs


Personal Branding – How To Build A Positive Social Media Footprint

Your personal brand plays a large part in your professional world. Today most companies use social media as a big tool in hiring. What you post on social media can help make or break that new job that you have been looking at. Use these tips to help make your social media accounts stand out.

Do Not Erase Social Media

A lot of people’s first thought when they are looking to get a new job or a promotion is to wipe their social media account. Completely getting rid of it or remove all of the content from the account: This is the last thing that you want to do. Data miners, those who look for your data on the internet have ways of finding things that have been recently removed and will use these if your social media presence is gone or bare.

Instead of deleting your whole account, target the posts that you think are the worst offenders.

Social Media is Personal Marketing

Social media is a way to market yourself. Fill out your profile thoroughly so that people know what you like and it shows that there is real content behind you. It also shows potential employers that you take things seriously.

A social media profile should make you appealing to everyone, not just friends.

Think Before Posting

Before you post anything you should think first. Pictures of you partying, posts with negative text, and fights between friends are not good things to have on your social media accounts. Take a second before posting anything and ask yourself is this something that would be okay for current or future employers to see?

Don’t forget to ask your friends to help you by not posting negative content of you and not tagging you on negative content.

Update Regularly and Engage

Potential employers want to know that you’re an active person. When you post content regularly it helps to show this, so does regularly engaging your friends. Commenting on photos, tagging people, and getting people to comment on your photos shows people that you don’t just go home and sit alone. Even executives and smart people need releases from work and you are expected to have yours.


The most important thing to take away from this is to make your social media profile a reflection of you in the digital world. It should be both professional and social. Also make sure that your page does not appear artificial, this makes people question who you are. Once you start, don’t forget to be consistent. Every brand, including your personal brand needs to be consistent.


Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Salaries

Knowing what the market and salary range you can expect is important whether you’re job hunting or in negotiation for a raise. There are many sources to figure out salaries including various salary surveys, asking friends (not always reliable), and articles and sites online. A sometimes forgotten source is The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that publishes wages for just about every job we have.

Take a look at their recent published salary data they gathered for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants.


Wonder where your salary lands?


National Salary Estimates / Mean Wage Estimates:


Physician Assistants Salaries:


Employment    Employment
  Mean hourly
  Mean annual
  Wage RSE   
109,220    1.4 %   $50.37   $104,760   0.4 %


Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile   10%   25%
   75%   90%
Hourly Wage   $32.01   $42.30   $50.41   $59.71   $70.32
Annual Wage  $66,590  $87,980  $104,860  $124,200  $146,260



Nurse Practitioners Salaries:


Employment   Employment
  Mean hourly
  Mean annual
  Wage RSE
  166,280   1.3 %   $51.68   $107,480   0.4 %



Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10%   25%     50%
  75%  90%
Hourly Wage  $35.98  $42.70  $49.94   $59.17   $70.01

Annual Wage











The Salary Reports by the BLS also include:

  • Industry profiles – work locations physician offices, hospitals, etc.
  • Geographic profiles – including information with the most PA and NPs, Hourly mean and Annual Salary mean
  • Geographic profiles also includes: top paying states, metro areas and non metro areas.
  • In addition, you can review past salary reports.


To read the full Salary Reports:

Full Report – Physician Assistant


Full Report – Nurse Practitioner


Hopefully this information is helpful.





National Dog Day August 26th

Sunday is National Dog Day. #NationalDogDay It celebrates all dogs, mixed breed and pure.


The day was founded in 2004 by pet and family lifestyle expert and animal behaviorist Colleen Paige, the day honors dogs for all that they do to enrich our lives and communities.


Today, I’m going to celebrate my canine girls – Luna and Penny who are the office mascots.


Pictured as they watched the royal wedding in May and not loving those crowns.



Luna is my 7 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi (the one without a tail). She’s a rescue from Sunshine Corgi Rescue. Last place finisher in the recent corgi races in Tampa and all around funny girl. She is known as Luna the lunatic. She’s a bundle of happiness that doesn’t walk when she can run and loves to leap from one piece of furniture to the next. She can hold her own when she wrestles and plays. She loves being in the office during day and relishes her position as office mascot. She’s a corgi, so of course she thinks she’s the boss. She makes us laugh everyday!








Penny will be 11 in November and is the best dog I’ve ever had. She’s a golden retriever, so sweet, loving is in her nature. She’s also a big golden goof ball.

But her extra superpower – is knowing when you need her. She’s a therapy dog who visits an assisted living and Alzheimer unit every Friday at lunch. She arrives like she owns the joint and greets residents as they leave the dining room with a wagging tail. They wait on line for her paw and a shake from her. She gives long loving looks and makes each person she meets feel special. She’s regularly told that she’s the best thing of someone’s week. Smiles, wags and joy. There have been times when she sensed someone wasn’t doing well and gave that person extra attention and care.


And she’s a reading dog at the library to help children be better readers. She is extraordinary.




Dogs are glorious creatures. So hug your dog today or if you need one, visit a local shelter and adopt. You’ll be glad you did.


Happy National Dog Day.

“Dog is God spelled backward.”Duane Chapman


How to Get Noticed During Your Job Search

Whether you are searching for your first position out of school, or are looking to explore and expand your specialty experience, the following tips will help you organize your Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant job search so that you’ll be noticed and stand out from the crowd.

Tips to getting noticed during your Advanced Practice Provider Job Search

healthcare job, job search


Get Organized

It is likely that the vast majority of your job search will be completed online. Almost all healthcare facilities require you to apply online.

  • Create a spreadsheet to keep track of where you’ve sent your resume and login information
  • Create a few follow up templates to respond to jobs, request for more information, etc.
  • Block time to job search every day. Finding a new job is a job, so be sure to make time for it.
  • Also keep track of details such as which companies you have heard back from, who you spoke to, the date of all communication, and the outcome of each application and interview.
  • Designate an area so you can keep track of what you’re doing
  • Have a hard copy file for papers, etc.
  • Be sure your credentialing documents are up to date


Update and optimize your Provider resume

You want your resume to be strong. When updating your resume be sure to consider other factors including:

  • Accolades and Accomplishments
  • Any new job responsibilities and duties
  • Measurable Achievements
  • Be willing to update your resume  based on the job description as needed

Check out my post for helpful tips on creating a resume that makes it off the pile. Remember your resume must sell you and your experience, skills and background. You have to show them what you bring to the table.


Determine Your Career Goals

Now it is time to consider what your specific goals are. For example, if you’re a new grad you might be looking for anyone who will hire you but still you have an idea of what you want your first job to look like. More experienced NPs or PAs may be searching for positions in a specific specialty or to increase their skills in their current area of specialty.


Other things to consider: how far you are willing to commute to and from work; if you’re willing to relocate; your shift preference and of course your salary requirements.


Networking and Research

Who do you want to work for? It’s a good idea to make a list of hospitals, practices, physicians you want to work with and then research if they are looking to hire.


One the most effective ways to find a new job is networking. Reach out to friends and professionals who know the quality of your work. Selectively, tell people that you might be considering a change for the right opportunity. Talk to people you know at the companies where you want to work. Remember to ask that they respect your privacy, so your current employer does not find out. Other sources to network with – individuals you have come across over the years, colleagues from NP or PA school, your clinical rotations, during training, at professional events, and at networking events.


Being organized will make your job search less stressful and help as you successfully navigate your Advanced Practice Provider job search.


Take a look at our current jobs here: Advanced Practice Provider Jobs


Salary Negotiation Tips for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants


As a Advanced Practice Provider, when you get to salary and contract negotiations, it’s important to be ready and knowledgeable.


You need to be firm, diplomatic and detailed.  You should know what you want but ask for it in a way that will help you get it. And remember negotiations are a two-way street both sides usually wind up giving and getting.employment contract negotiating


Tips for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants during salary negotiations:

Research – know the market and know your worth. Check out recent salary surveys, find out the regional differences, the salary range for your years of experience and medical specialty. It helps to know what you’re worth before you get started.


Your attitude matters. Resist being too pushy or combative. It’s fine to be assertive but stay respectful. Be firm in your request (don’t demand). Be positive and flexible.


Be clear – good communication is so important when discussing salary, benefits, etc. Don’t be vague when specifics are required. Clearly express your requirements, failing to do so can slow down the process or even turn the employer off. Effective communication is the key.



Know your bottom line figure – The amount that will make you happy. Be realistic and take into account – benefits, quality of life (a job that is a day shift might pay less than an ER job but having a home life might just be worth it).




Practice –  You don’t negotiate every day, so work on the pitch so that you’re comfortable with your reasons, the amount you’re asking for and you’re not tentative. Practice makes perfect.


The process of negotiating requires time and effort. Be prepared not to get everything you want but know what you’re willing to be flexible on. When it’s over both parties should be satisfied and happy about the next chapter in the practice and for you the provider.


View Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant jobs at our website