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If you’re planning to apply for a primary care nurse practitioner residency or fellowship, we’ve got some good news. The application requirements for these programs tend to be pretty similar across the board meaning your essay-writing and recommendation-requesting can be done in a more streamlined manner. Just what is required to apply for a nurse practitioner residency?

There are six primary components required as part of the application to most primary care NP residencies and fellowships. They are as follows:

Resume or CV

While submitting your resume seems straightforward, you’ll want to spend some time here. I review a number of NP resumes and find that as a profession, we could use some help here! This is the first picture you you as a professional that a prospective employer or residency program will look at so make it neat, informative and professional.

Application Form

This is the easy step. Residency application forms typically request info like your address and work history similar to online job applications you’ve seen in the past. While it may be tempting to complete this step quickly, this is still an important piece of your application so make it thorough and complete.

Letter(s) of Recommendation

Primary care NP residencies typically require anywhere from one to three letters of recommendation. Some specify what kinds of individuals these letters should be from. An employer, a colleague and/or someone who has observed you in the clinical setting are common requests. Remember, in most cases you’ll want someone who had a leadership or authority position over you complete these letters – not a coworker, classmate or personal friend.

Personal Statement and/or Essay Responses

There’s a pretty remarkable consistency with the essay prompts included on primary care NP residency applications. Most of these facilities are community health clinics and want to know that your long-term and short-term career goals are consistent with primary care and their mission to treat underserved patients. Essay prompts tend to be along the lines of:

  • What experiences and or influences led you to choose a career as a nurse practitioner in your specialty?
  • What’s your motivation for applying to a residency program? How will a residency help you reach your long-term and short-term career goals?
  • Why do you want to work in a community health center? Discuss your commitment to a career in primary care.
  • In what areas do you want to increase mastery/competence over the course of the residency program?

While you’ll certainly want to look at the individual prompts for each program where you apply, written responses tend to center around these themes.

Transcripts

Not all, but many NP residencies request your nurse practitioner school transcripts. Programs typically do not have posted GPA cutoffs, but may compare your coursework and/or GPA its that of other applicants as part of the application process.

Certification/Licensure Eligibility

If you’re a nurse practitioner student applying to a residency or fellowship program, there’s not much to do here as part of your application package. But, you will need to become certified and apply for licensure in the state where you’ll be practicing as soon as possible after graduation. Most residencies stipulate that you’ll need to be eligible to practice and prescribe in their location, but don’t expect this process to be complete during or before the application period.

Larger facilities may have NP residents apply for positions through HR similar to other employment positions whereas most smaller facilities like community health clinics ask applicants to submit required application components via mail or email. Don’t forget to follow up on your application to make sure your application components have been received by the deadline.

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