Showing posts relating to: General

5 Lesser-Known Facts to Help Make a Flu Diagnosis

How accurate is the flu swab? Can I just use clinical intuition? And more...

I'm still crossing my fingers that the last shift I worked in the ER won't leave me sick with the flu. It seems like every other patient I saw tested positive for influenza A. As nurse practitioners this time of year, in many settings we're bombarded by sick patients. While we can't do much for viral syndromes in most cases, there are some general guidelines we must abide by and helpful information to know that impacts diagnosis. 

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What NPs Need to Know About Treating RSV

Cold and flu season if definitely here! In addition to the seasonal flu, respiratory syncytial virus (commonly referred to as RSV) is another prevalent and highly contagious virus that can affect patients of all ages through the fall and spring months. Nurse practitioners can expect to see these patients in their practices this season. In most older children and adults who are generally healthy, RSV causes mild, cold-like symptoms which typically resolve on their own within a few weeks. But for some patients, RSV can be serious and in some cases, life threatening.

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F.A.Q. About Our (First Ever!) Continuing Education Conference

Hey, hey it's Thursday! I hope your week is going fabulously and that you've got some exciting weekend plans to look forward to. Today, I wanted to share some exciting news for those of you who could use a little boost to make it through the rest of the week - we're having a MidlevelU continuing education conference in Nashville! Yes, if you haven't heard, we've got some great programming in store and can't wait to meet you all in TN this March.

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How to Become a Nurse Practitioner Entrepreneur in 7 Exciting Steps

Entrepreneurial nurse practitioners often reach out to me asking how I started MidlevelU and I'm happy to share my story. Businesses get started in all different ways, but there are a few standard steps entrepreneurs usually take to get an idea off the ground. I took these in an informal sense to launch MidlevelU. Whether you're interested in opening your own clinic or starting a preceptor matching service, here's how to get moving.

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Does Working in an Independent Practice State Really Affect Your NP Job?

I've had several nurse practitioners tell me they will only work in independent practice states. That is, states whose scope of practice laws don't require nurse practitioners to be supervised by or collaborate with a physician. While I understand the position of these NPs, they are capable of treating patients without oversight, I have to wonder - does working in an independent practice state actually change what a nurse practitioner's day-to-day job looks like?

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Why Some RNs Should Expect Lower Salaries as NPs

Earlier today, I reviewed stats showing that nurses can expect to earn substantially more on average by advancing their careers. Depending on specialty, nurse practitioners earn $36,000 to $40,000 more than their RN counterparts...with a few caveats.

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How Much More Can Nurses Earn as Nurse Practitioners?

If you're thinking about going back to school to become a nurse practitioner, salary is obviously part of your decision making process. Do the dollars and cents add up when is comes to the time and expense required to enter a new career path? Nurses earn a good living and so before returning to school you'll want to make sure the numbers crunch favorably. 

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My Best Advice for Anxiety-Filled New Grad NPs

New grad nurse practitioner life is no joke. Even if you've worked as a nurse for many years, you're taking on a new role with significantly more responsibility as an NP. Now, you're responsible for diagnosing and creating a treatment plan, in some cases working almost autonomously. For new nurse practitioners, this can be an anxiety provoking experience. 

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Can Your Employer Make You Get a Flu Shot?

Throughout the months of October through February, nurse practitioners spend much of their shift treating countless numbers of influenza cases, as patients flock to the clinic in the hopes that there’s still an opportunity to lessen their misery with an antiviral prescription. 

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How to Wear Scrubs When Its Freezing Outside

Baby, it's cold outside! My least favorite part of cold and flu season is not the increased patient volume in the emergency department. Rather, it's the walk from my car to the front door of the hospital. Wearing thin scrubs leaves my legs freezing cold, and drafty indoor hospital temperatures have my fingers so icy I can barely tap out a patient's chart on my keyboard. Dressing for cold weather as a nurse practitioner can certainly be challenging. How do you wear scrubs when it's freezing outside?

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Congrats! You've Got One of the Best Jobs in the U.S.

There are certainly ups and downs in the nurse practitioner career. From difficult patients to dealing with bodily fluids and administrative snafus (maybe even all in the same day), there's a reason they call it 'work'. Despite these challenges, I truly enjoy my life as an NP. I'm constantly learning, intellectually stimulated, respect my colleagues, and have avoided having a desk job - something my active self couldn't handle. Not to mention, I earn a pretty substantial salary. It turns out that there are others who think like myself and see that nurse practitioners and physician assistants have a pretty good gig. 

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(Moderately) Successful Attempts to Overcome Guilt from a New NP Mom

I'm a whopping 7 weeks in to life as a working mom. I anticipated that balancing my nurse practitioner career with motherhood might present a challenge at times. And, I was right. What I couldn't predict was exactly how I'd feel when I left my baby boy in the morning for work and he looked at me sweetly with those big blue eyes as I handed him over to the babysitter. 

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