I have planned to start a nurse practitioner forum of sorts for a long time now.  I would love for MidlevelU to become a place where nurse practitioners and prospective NP’s can help each other out with issues that arise throughout their education and careers or simply when they need encouragement.  This week, the perfect opportunity presented itself.  I hope all the NP’s out there can help out our fellow nurse practitioner, Katy.

This week Katy e-mailed me as she has become a bit burnt out in her job.  She works as a family nurse practitioner in a primary care clinic.  Currently, she works four, ten-hour days each week seeing patients eight of the ten hours and taking two of these hours to complete administrative tasks.  In a typical day, Katy treats about 25 patients.  Katy has not received a raise in three years and is paid below the average salary for her state.

Katy suspects her employer will ask her to begin seeing patients for the entire ten hours she is at work rather than allowing her to continue to work in her two administrative hours.  She is unsure what is standard in a primary care clinic.  What schedules do other nurse practitioners maintain?  Do other NP’s receive administrative time for paperwork and patient call-backs in their typical work day?

Let’s help Katy out!  Let her know what schedule you work and if administrative time is included in your average work day.  Do you think Katy’s current arrangement sounds reasonable?  What if she is asked to treat patients for all ten hours she works rather than just eight?  Post your comments below.

Do you have a question about your nurse practitioner career?  Are you thinking of becoming a nurse practitioner and trying to find the right path?  Let me know by e-mailing erin.tolbert@midlevelu.com and you could be featured next on the new column ‘Help Out an NP’.

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7 thoughts on “Help Out a Fellow Nurse Practitioner with Career Advice!”

  • I currently work at a primary care/ walk-in clinic. I work 4, 10 hour days/ week plus one weekend a month 6 hours Saturday and 4 hours Sunday. I am expected to see patients for all hours I am in the clinic. Usually, I arrive at work about 30 minutes early and am able to complete all call-backs, go through lab results etc. If amy extra admin work is necessary I work it in here and there during the work day.

    I am paid hourly, so I do end up being compensated for arriving 30 minutes early to complete admin tasks. When I first started my job I stayed lat to finish up charts etc. but was told I could not continue this and had to complete them within my scheduled hours, so I had to become more efficient.

  • I work in urgent care, so it is a little bit of a different situation than family practice. I work 3, 12 hour days one week then 2, 12 hour weekdays the following week plus 8 hours Saturday and 6 hours Sunday. I am expected to see patients for all hours I work and do not get any admin time. I review lab results, call patients and do refill requests etc. as I receive them throughout the day if there is any downtime. I am paid hourly (clock in and out) so technically if I had to stay late to complete documentation etc., I would be paid for this.

  • Michelle Rioux-Nivens says:

    I am a student enrolled in Walden University Family Nurse Practitioner Program, and I find this site helpful. This summer I begin my practicums and since I work in home health, finding it difficult to find a place to complete practicum training. I live in the Fort Mill, SC area, close to Charlotte North Carolina. If anyone is interested in being a preceptor or can offer suggestions how to set up practicums, I would welcome the information.
    Thank you

  • Hi Michelle!

    Thank you for your comment.  If it’s OK with you, I wil post a blog asking readers to help you find a clinical placement.  Feel free to e-mail me at erin.tolbert@midlevelu.com with more details so I can help you find a preceptor.

  • I am in a similar situation as Katy. I am an FNP working in a busy family practice office in a rural area, as a solo provider. My supervising physician works in a different clinic and I never see him. I see all Medicaid patients with many chronic conditions. I currently work (4) 8 hour days per week with no scheduled lunch. I basically see patients all day, no admin time or down time. I am so burnt out I don’t know how much more I can take.

  • I am pursuing a NP in Psychiatry – What does the preceptor look like in this field of study? Also, why the lack of interest in a field that’s growing rapidly?

  • Hi Janie,

    A preceptor is simply a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or physician who helps train you during your nurse practitioner program. If you are pursuing a psych NP degree, your preceptor would be someone working in the psychiatric/mental health field. 

    I don’t have any statistics/studies regarding the need for psych providers and why people aren’t selecting a specialty in psych. But, based on my personal experiences, working with mental health patients is a niche. It isn’t for everyone. Since it is specialized there are simply fewer people interested in the specialty. 

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