Showing posts from: June 2018

Let's Talk About Urine! Microalbuminuria Q&A

I recently gave a presentation on chronic kidney disease to a group of NPs and PAs in our latest Midlevels for the Medically Underserved cohort. They asked a number of excellent questions on the topic which led to some discussion about screening for proteinuria. It seems there's a need to clear up some confusion around microalbuminuria. So, today, let's get back to primary care basics with some Q&A on the topic. 

Continue reading

7 Options When You Can't Pay Your Student Loans

Nurse practitioner programs can be quite costly, ranging anywhere from $15,000 to $90,000, depending on the school, number of credits, and whether you have in-state or out-of-state tuition. Not to mention, you’ll also be responsible for covering the costs of textbooks, room and board, and other costs for living. Although you may be able to continue working while enrolled in your NP program, chances are you’ll still need to find a way to help pay for your education. Fortunately, federal and private student loans can alleviate some, if not all, of the costs. Since you won’t have to make any payments for the first six months after graduation, it may be your best option for making your NP dreams a reality.

Continue reading

MSN vs. DNP: 5 Key Differences

Whether you’re just starting out in planning your nurse practitioner education or are already a practicing NP with years of experience and a master’s degree, you’ve probably heard about Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. Although a Master’s degree is still the mandatory education level required to practice as an NP, there has been a push for a doctorate requirement to take its place. As a result, many NP programs have already begun making the transition to only offering DNP programs for prospective NP students

Continue reading

Understanding Opioid Strengths and Other Prescribing Pearls

Whether or not you prescribe opioids, a lot of your patients are taking them. So, it's important for nurse practitioners and physician assistants to get familiar with how they work to guide your treatment and prescribing plans. Today, let's talk opioid strengths. When we talk about the 'strength' of opioid medications, there are two aspects to consider. First, we look at the drug potency. Second, we can look at the drug's duration of action. For the purposes of today's post, we will discuss potency. 

Continue reading

What Percentage of Your Income Should Go Toward Student Loans?

Going back to nurse practitioner or physician assistant school is a major financial endeavor. Depending on the program in which you enroll, you'll spend tens of thousands of dollars on your graduate education and in some cases upwards of the one hundred thousand dollar mark. Given the significance of the loans you'll incur on your path to becoming an NP or PA, financial planning is in order. A good starting place is to determine what percentage of your projected income should go to paying off student loans.

Continue reading

Compensation Concerns: How Do You Know if Your Job Offer is Fair?

When a NP or PA receives a job offer, there are many aspects of the employment relationship that must be carefully analyzed. But let’s be honest, compensation is always at the top of everyone’s mind. In fact, it’s not uncommon for job candidates to flip through the beginning of their offered contract, and get right to the payment section to see what has been offered. And we don’t blame you! Beyond the initial excitement and curiosity about compensation, a common fear we hear from many of our clients is: “I don’t want to sound greedy, but do you think this employer has offered me a fair compensation structure? Are they offering me enough?”

Continue reading

The Best Apps to Help Busy NPs Save Time

I absolutely love tools that help my efficiency level. I'm a get-things-done kind of girl. So, if there's a way to knock my to-do list out more quickly, particularly if this means spending more time hanging out with friends or hitting up the pool with my husband then I'm on it. I've developed a repertoire of apps that help make my life as a full-time nurse practitioner flow more smoothly and thought I would share. If you're looking for a way to spend less time outside of work  on to-do's and more time on life's meaningful moments, check out the following apps. 

Continue reading

Vintage Medical Artwork We're Head Over Heels For

We've moved! MidlevelU has officially moved into a new office space. The transition has been a positive change - we've got more room that's better suited to our team's growing needs. And, an excuse to redecorate - what more could you ask for?! Staying true to our healthcare roots, we're weaving medical decor into our new digs. In the process of getting our new headquarters in order, we discovered some cool vintage medical posters you might want for your office, too (we did avoid the STI-related selections!). If you could stand to freshen up your office, create a gallery wall with a few of these picks. 

Continue reading

6 Companies That Can Help Make Your Practice Virtual

Integrating Telemedicine

Could you treat your patients virtually? From large hospital systems to small primary care practices, telehealth is rapidly evolving, becoming more widely available and easily accessible for both patients and providers. In primary care, it’s a great option for providers to turn to when a patient needs a basic consultation or follow up appointment but doesn’t necessarily need to be seen right away. 

Continue reading

A Tried and True Method for Creating Your Ideal Life

Talking with a friend this morning, I started thinking about just how much we all balance. Working as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, we've got busy careers with a reasonably high stress level and demanding schedules. In addition, we fit in all that goes on with spouses, kids, extended family and our social lives. Not to mention, its nice to take time away for yourself once in a while. Looking at all of these obligations, how do you fit them all in? Can you really have an ideal life?

Continue reading

Your Mind Is Not a Microwave

So don't treat your clinical education like it is one

I see a number of posts from nurse practitioners requesting quick fixes. Inquiries like "I accepted a new position in neurology - do you know of any quick brush-up courses?" and "I'm trying to learn medical Spanish - does anyone know of any conferences to attend?". While conferences and other short learning experiences certainly have merit, mastering the various aspects of clinical practice takes much more time and involvement than a one-week continuing education bootcamp. 

Continue reading

The Lucky 7: Classes of Meds for Pain Management

Pain management is basically a dirty word among nurse practitioners and physician assistants today. We shun patients on long-term pain medications and grow weary of requests for "that medicine that I had that one time - it starts with a 'D'...". The opioid problem and our resulting hesitancy to prescribe pain medications has become so bad that a patient comes to see us with something like an acute femur fracture and we pause before prescribing ten tablets of Percocet upon discharge from the hospital. 

Continue reading