Nurse Practitioner – Ambulatory Care Setting

Interested in an nurse practitioner role in an ambulatory care setting? Here are some ideas for getting your foot in the door.

Take advantage of the opportunity to sell yourself and to sell the NP role.  Seek out practices or organizations that are hiring NPs, physicians, or physician assistants (PA). Start with the office manager or physician and ask if you can have a few minutes to talk with him or her.  You may have the opportunity to create a role for yourself. Follow these steps:

1. Learn who is hiring

  • Check newspapers, nursing and medical journals, and newsletters from professional organizations for advertisements for pediatricians or NPs pediatric settings (i.e., schools).
  • Network with other NPs by attending NAPNAP chapter meetings, local AAP meetings, local ANA meetings or meetings of other NP groups.
  • Conduct Internet searches.
  • Join NP listserves, check out the websites of local NAPNAP chapters, the AAP, and other professional organizations.
  • Use search firms and do not limit yourself to those specializing in NPs.  Contact the ones specializing in recruiting physicians as well.  The names of these firms can be found in advertisements in professional journals.

2. Talk to the right person

  • This is usually not the receptionist.
  • Leave a message for the physician to call back.  See if you can make an appointment to speak with the physician in person.  This is a good way to explain the advantages of NPs.  Be brief and do not take up more than 15 minutes.
  • Talk to the office manager. Often, developing a rapport with her/him can be invaluable.
  • If dealing with a large company/hospital, make an appointment with the Chief of the department or advanced practice magager/administrator.  Do research to determine the best individual to target.

3. Know your stuff

  • Be prepared to answer questions about scope of practice, patient satisfaction, cost effectiveness, and job descriptions of NPs.
  • Provide the office manager and physician with handouts on NP education, training, and collaborative agreement if required by the state.
  • If you have an area of expertise (i.e., asthma, breastfeeding), let them know.
  • Have a detailed curriculum vita that outlines your accomplishments.
  • Consider leaving a copy of NAPNAP’s Ready, Set, Grow with the contact person.
  • Stress your NP training and experience.
  • Use this as a perfect opportunity to educate a physician on the role of a PNP — even if you do not get the job.

4. “Manager of your Career”

  • In your current work environment you can be the “manager of your career” by promoting NPs and educating physicians and staff about your role, responsibilities and capabilities.  If you are in a hospital ambulatory setting this can be through everyday contact or through committee membership.  If you are in private practice, you can network with other practices through referrals, NAPNAP, and AAP meetings.
  • Anticipate participation in practice meetings and formal and informal education
  • Provide information to families about your training, education and experience
  • Visit referral offices to introduce yourself and encourage referrals to a PNP
  • Hand out business cards with appointment reminders
  • Add NP names to signage, letter head, and the website for practice
  • Track data that shows quality care markers
  • Determine and apply appropriate productivity tools
  • Ensure office voicemail contains names of all providers including NPs
  • Ensure office website contains names and biographies of all providers including NPs