How Accurate are Rapid Strep Tests?

With an estimated seven million Americans seeking medical treatment for sore throats annually, it’s a safe bet that as a nurse practitioner you will treat your fair share of patients with swollen glands and tonsils. Sore throats are often the first sign of an impending illness; but sudden and severe sore throats combined with fever are the telltale sign of a more serious, yet common illness known as Group A Streptococcus or strep pharyngitis. With just one in ten cases of pharyngitis caused by strep, how do you make an accurate diagnosis?

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5 Things You Shouldn't Sweat as a Nurse Practitioner New Grad

I remember life as a new graduate nurse practitioner all too painfully well. Upon graduating from my NP program, I squeezed a much needed tropical getaway into the four day break I had between my the end of my academic and beginning of my professional careers. Then, I marched through the tall glass doors of the clinic where I was newly employed ready for day one as a nurse practitioner. 

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7 Questions to Ask about Your State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Do you look patients up on your state's controlled substance monitoring database before writing prescriptions for these medications? I've long been aware of this resource available to nurse practitioners and other prescribers, however I recently learned that there's a lot more to using these databases than most providers are aware of. Did you know that it may be illegal for you to print out the results of an inquiry into the system? Or, for example, that you may be legally obligated to look a patient up in your state's database before writing certain prescriptions?

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Don't Miss Our Live NP Residency Info Session!

I am so excited for the rest of this week. Tomorrow, our newest Midlevels for the Medically Underserved (MMU) cohort will converge at MidlevelU headquarters in Nashville, TN for two days featuring a lot continuing education and, yes, a little bit of fun. On the agenda for the kickoff is an ECG interpretation course taught by an electrophysiology NP, suturing skills lecture and practice, training in minor office procedures with hands-on practice, orthopedic X-ray interpretation and much, much more! 

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What's the Difference Between the ANCC and PNCB Certification Exams?

After graduation, pediatric nurse practitioners have the option to earn certification from one of two governing boards: the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The decision about which exam to take can be daunting. After all, NPs must be certified in order to land a first job. What exactly are the differences between the two tests for pediatric nurse practitioners?

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An FBI Hostage Negotiator Gives Advice for Getting the NP Salary You Want

I love action movies. Anything with war, drug trafficking, a hero and heroine uniting in dramatic fashion despite a spray of machine gun fire - yes, that's the flick for me. So, when a family member suggested I read former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss' book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, I was game. I figured that if I was going to read a book on professional development, it might as well be one authored by someone with some interesting stories and utmost credibility. With experience in high-stakes negotiation with bank robbers, terrorists, and international kidnappers, Voss fit the bill. 

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3 Apps to Help Your Patients With Medication Management

Even though I have been a nurse practitioner for a number of years, I don't think I ever fully appreciated how difficult it can be for patients to manage a medication regimen until recently. Given that a few individuals close to myself have found themselves in similar situations, prescribed numerous meds, the problem now seems closer to home. Some drugs must be taken with food, and others without. Medications may be prescribed one, two, three, or even four times a day making taking each pill at the appropriate time nearly impossible. In yet other cases, drugs must be refrigerated, which makes taking them on the go a challenge. 

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Do You Give Your Family and Friends Medical Advice?

My father is a physician, so I was used to family and friends constantly calling our home asking a health question or two. As a kid, I enjoyed the benefits of having a parent in healthcare. I rarely went to my pediatrician, and rather was diagnosed with a viral illness here and there from the comfort of our living room sofa. Over the counter medications along with a prescription or two, were stockpiled in our cabinets. I was even taken in the back entrance of the hospital for an off-the-record X-ray or two after sports related injuries. 

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How Much Time Are You Wasting on Your Phone at Work?

Let’s face it. How many of us can openly admit that when we grab our phones in the morning to check our work emails, we find ourselves mindlessly checking our Facebook notifications instead? And raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself in sheer panic mode because your phone is nowhere to be found? Whether you want to admit it or not, we are all addicted to our phones and it's had a resounding affect on our productivity in the workplace. 

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Should You Ditch Your Full-Time NP Job for Freelancing?

In my first years as a nurse practitioner I worked more than full-time. I picked up extra shifts and took on PRN positions in addition to a full-time job. I busted my booty to save money to buy a house, a much needed vehicle upgrade, and overall establish myself as a working adult in a successful career. Then, in 2012, I founded MidlevelU which became my side-gig. Five years later and counting, the day-in and day-out operations of MidlevelU have become a more than full-time commitment and I have adjusted my schedule working as a nurse practitioner in the emergency department accordingly. I maintain PRN positions with a few local hospitals and work seeing patients one or two days a week. 

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Will You Be Asked Clinical Questions in a NP Job Interview?

Easing job interview angst 

Sweaty palms, shifting in your seat - anxiety levels are high when interviewing for a nurse practitioner position. Whether you’re a new graduate, an NP seeking a specialty transition, or an experienced provider looking for a new employer, the unknowns that come with job interviews are worrisome. One question I often receive from job-seeking nurse practitioners centers around what a prospective employer will ask in the interview, specifically “will I be asked clinical questions in a nurse practitioner job interview?”. 

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How Much Will it Cost You to Add a DNP Degree?

Are you ready to jump on the DNP bandwagon? Since the introduction of the doctorate level degree for nurse practitioners, more and more NPs are choosing to take their education to the highest level. This leaves many of us who became nurse practitioners in the days when only a master's degree was offered feeling the pull to further our education as well. One of the first questions MSN-prepared NPs naturally ask is "How much will a post-master's DNP degree cost?". 

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