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Clinician Resources / Professional Development / How to Choose a Clinical Practice: NPs and PAs

Let's begin with the assumption that you've been offered a clinical position. Your potential employer has recognized your skills, talents, and expertise as an ideal match for what they're seeking. After weeks or even months of uncertainty during the interview process, you now find yourself in the driver's seat. However, before diving into negotiations, it's crucial to determine whether this position aligns with your needs. Choosing the right clinical practice involves considering numerous factors beyond salary, necessitating an honest self-evaluation of what job satisfaction means to you.

Selecting the right clinical practice mirrors the process of seeking compatible matches in other aspects of life. Just as you seek shared values and appreciate differences when choosing friends or partners, finding the perfect complement is a delicate balancing act. Uncovering each other's unique traits may present challenges, but it also facilitates learning and growth. Central to this compatibility is enjoying spending time together. By applying this expectation to your clinical practice, you can ensure that you find a suitable workplace match.

To evaluate whether a job opportunity is suitable for you, reflect on the following five questions:

1. Does this position fulfill both my work-life balance desires and financial needs?

Investigate how the job details will impact your work-life balance. Consider the number of days and potential for nights or weekends that you will be required to work. What are your daily or shift hours? What's the most efficient commute method for you? How does the commute affect your loved ones? Are there expectations for call duty or overtime? How many patients will you need to see per session versus the time needed for quality patient care? How does patient scheduling work, and what about no-shows or double-bookings? What's the balance between patient care and administrative duties? Will charting from home be necessary due to busy clinic days? Financially, is the offered salary in line with market standards and your needs? Assess the benefits package, including health, dental, and vision insurance, PTO, 401k match, and licensure reimbursement. Consider that benefits can contribute significantly to your compensation package.

2. Is this the best setting and work culture for me?

Evaluate the setting and work culture, asking if it's a good match for you. Healthcare delivery spans diverse settings, from hospitals to telehealth. Where do you thrive? Do you prefer a small or large practice, team approach, or solo practice? What qualities do you seek in co-workers? How is collaboration fostered, and how is feedback received? Is PTO encouraged, or is unpaid work from home expected? Assess staff retention and overall satisfaction.

3. Does this opportunity advance my professional goals?

For new graduates and seasoned clinicians, the question of how the job impacts future goals is key. New grads seek exposure and learning opportunities, while seasoned clinicians focus on skills and growth. Consider mentorship, skills development, CME opportunities, and impact beyond the workplace.

4. What are the institution's values?

Match the institution's mission with your values. Consider how their beliefs align with your practice, especially if they might limit your care options.

5. Is the timing right for this position?

Evaluate personal factors, such as family needs, relocation plans, or retirement considerations.

Aim to make an informed decision about this important step in your career journey. Good luck!

Post by Bethany Golden, MSN, RN, CNME
August 7, 2023


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