June 22, 2023

Advice I wish I had

By: April Burke, PAC, Vice President Advanced Practice Providers, Hospital Medicine 

I love seeing brand-new nurse practitioner (NP) and physician assistant (PA) students graduate and join our Sound Physicians teams. Witnessing them start their budding careers brings back so many memories from my time in PA school. I’ll never forget how excited and relieved I was to walk across the stage to receive my white coat alongside the classmates I studied with for hours on end. 

Reality, however, set in for me the very next day. I felt the stress of my upcoming board exams and the pressure to find my first job as a PA. I began a rigorous studying process and interviewed for local PA positions. Despite the advice I received from my teachers and precepting clinicians, I still felt unclear about the next steps I needed to take.

Looking back, the one group I wish I could have gotten guidance from are the potential employers I was pursuing. The only time I spoke with them was in formal interviews. I felt too intimated to ask many questions and missed the chance to ask for advice. 

Today, I get to be the voice I wish I had when starting out. One of my favorite things about my role with Sound is interacting with upcoming and recent advanced practice provider (APP) graduates who are entering the workforce. 

Here’s some advice I believe every new APP should have:

  • Start your job search early. Begin searching three to six months prior to your graduation date and use multiple resources to locate potential opportunities. Consider searching via job board websites, social media, conferences, and word of mouth from your peers and clinical preceptors. 
  • Prepare and practice for your interview. Research the organizations and panels of people that will be interviewing you. Practice answering the most common interview questions with a family member or friend and have specific examples to support your answers. Always bring extra copies of your curriculum vitae — your CV, or resume — to the interview. 
  • Ask questions. Ensuring the employer is a good fit for you is essential. During the interview, ask questions that will help you learn about the role, expectations, team dynamics, and opportunities for future growth. Conclude every interview with a “thank you” and establish clear next steps with a timeline. 
  • Find what’s important to YOU. When it comes to choosing the right employer, focus on the aspects of the job that are most important to you. These aspects can include location, schedule, compensation, workload, potential growth opportunities, and more. Establish which ones are deal breakers and which you’re willing to negotiate on. Familiarize yourself with the collaboration structure and autonomy level for the APPs in the organization to ensure it aligns with your expectations. 
  • Start licensing and credentialing early. Begin your licensing and credentialing-privileging process as early as possible. Be timely in turning in accurate information to prevent any potential delays in the process. 
  • Lastly, enjoy this time. Take some time to feel the joy of your accomplishments; you deserve it!

If you are interested in exploring career opportunities at Sound, click here.

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