Looking for a new job or standing out at your current job; it’s important to know what qualities employers want in Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants.
Good time to be a Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant
With graduation rates up and the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) from 2016 to 2026 reporting that Nurse Practitioners are projected to grow at 31 percent and Physician Assistants are projected to grow at 37 percent, there has never been a better time to practice. USA News and World Reports ranks Physician Assistants #3 and Nurse Practitioners # 4 on their list of 100 Best jobs.
All good signs for Advanced Practice Providers.
What are the qualities of a great Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant?
- Communication – having above average verbal and written skills is a must. You need to be able to speak effectively with your patients. Listening is one of those things we forget to do sometimes but it’s vital as advanced practice provider. In the time you have with your patients listen and find out what they need and then use your skills to give the patient the information and education they need.
- Compassion and Caring – Patients want someone who genuinely cares about them and their loved ones. They want to see a provider who is empathetic to their needs. Employers want to hire providers who convey that compassion to their patients.
- Integrity – Ethics and integrity are must haves. Employers need providers who can be trusted to do the right thing at all times.
- Hard Worker – Being a successful Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant isn’t easy. It takes physical and mental stamina to handle the long hours on your feet. It’s important to live a healthy lifestyle to make it easier to handle the rigors of the job.
- Organized and Detail Oriented – Your day involves seeing patients, writing orders, getting the dosage right and charting your findings. It’s important that you properly record the information. A mistake, even a small one could have consequences for the patient. Good time management and make sure that your time is scheduled effectively.
- Upbeat, Enthusiastic Team Player – Enthusiasm should be convey to your work mates and your patients. You want to be the person, who comes to work with a positive, can do attitude. Patients respond to it and so do your coworkers.
- Excellent Problem Solver – Good critical thinking skills and being creative helps you be a top notch problem solver. Medicine is complicated and every patient is different; you need to be a provider willing to find the solution.
- Flexible / Adaptable – Medicine has lots of moving parts and you have to be ready for it. Emergencies pop up, doctors change orders, as the Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants; you need to be prepared for the unpredictable. Being adaptable to make the solid decisions. Be someone who can work with all types of people. Flexibility can also be in terms of schedule, on call schedule.
- Self-Confidence – Be confident in you – your skills, knowledge and abilities. Confidence is paramount to giving quality patient care. In addition, your self- confidence makes it easy for you to work independently. Physicians trust confident providers. Though confidence doesn’t mean you know it all – so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Resourceful – Doing what’s necessary to get the job done. That could mean finding additional resources and information for your patients. You want to be someone who can retain and use the information to help.
These traits combined with your education, certifications and work history will keep you on the path of being a great Advanced Practice Provider and ensure your patients get the best care.