For me, the most frustrating thing about life as a new graduate nurse practitioner was my first year of practice. My initial months working post-graduation were fraught with stress and worry. I felt that I was not meeting my employer's expectations as a result of my inexperience. While my nurse practitioner program gave me a foundation for practice, real-life clinical scenarios proved much more challenging than anticipated.
As a new grad NP, I lamented that, similar to medical education, the nurse practitioner track should include a residency or fellowship to facilitate the transition from education to practice. Sure, there are a few NP residencies across the country, but not nearly enough to accommodate all interested students. Everyday, MidlevelU readers tell me they experience similar frustrations.
At MidlevelU, we've come up with a solution to the unpreparedness many nurse practitioners feel as they graduate from their NP programs - Midlevels for the Medically Underserved (MMU). MMU helps NPs and PAs engage their professional passions, growing in confidence and competence, while positively influencing the health and wellness of medically underserved communities.
- Erin Tolbert, RN, FNP
Goals of the Midlevels for the Medically Underserved experience include:
- Bringing highly motivated and energetic nurse practitioners and physician assistants to practices that see themselves as a good place to work
- Increasing access to high quality medical care for underserved populations by placing NPs and PAs in facilities serving such communities
- Professional development and mastery of clinical skills in a supportive environment conducive to learning
- Increased confidence and competence in the clinical setting with the ultimate goal of improved career satisfaction and performance
Midlevels for the Medically Underserved begins with a multi-day kickoff in Nashville, Tennessee. At the kickoff, participants orient to the program, meet fellow participants, and begin didactic and clinical learning.
Throughout the program, continued learning occurs through weekly virtual conferences. Meetings feature relevant clinical topics presented by field experts. Weekly conference topics include subject matter like "What is 'Productivity'? Meeting Employer Expectations" and "Initiating Insulin in the Diabetic Patient". Additional journaling, discussion and/or presentations may be required of participants.
Life as a Midlevels for the Medically Underserved participant is intense and rewarding! Participants work full-time in the clinical setting gradually increasing autonomy throughout the program. The exact schedule of the work week depends on the placement site but will not exceed an average of 40 hours/week. On-call hours may be required by some facilities. Weekly participant meetings may take place in addition to or as part of the regular work week, depending on the site.
The benefit of your hard work? A smoother transition from NP education to practice facilitated by feedback and coaching in a supportive environment. Continue learning while providing care to individuals who would otherwise lack access to quality healthcare services.
If you are an employer interested in learning more about how NPs and PAs participating in Midlevels for the Medically Underserved can serve in your hospital or clinic, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you have questions about Midlevels for the Medically Underserved, check out our F.A.Q. Questions about program content may be answered by reviewing this blog post detailing the MMU program structure. For additional questions, email email@example.com. Click below to receive a Midlevels for the Medically Underserved overview packet and application in your inbox!