This Program Helps Improve Clinical Skills During the Workday

As a nurse practitioner, the expectations placed on me are high. Not only must I know how to diagnose and treat patients, I'm required to do this in an environment where my employer tracks my time and efficiency. I've got to keep billing and malpractice pressures in mind, not to mention each individual patient's preferences. Working as a NP can be tough - I found this especially true in my early years of practice. 

Facing these pressures along with my still limited clinical knowledge was overwhelming. It left me burnt out and questioning my career. How can less expereinced NPs overcome these obstacles and find career satisfaction?

 

Mentorship in your first year or two working as a nurse practitioner is a must. You've got to have a guide (and some grit!) to help navigate the challenges you'll inevitably face.  I use the term 'mentor' loosely here. You may not find an on-the-job mentor who's warm and fuzzy and goes out of their way to be your cheerleader. Finding such an individual is a rarity for nurse practitioners. Rather, simply find someone who tolerates answering your questions and giving clinical guidance. It's imperative you have another provider who's willing to take time out of their work day to keep you on the right path and help you continue learning proper patient care. 

Given that there's limited time in the workday and identifying another provider to help in your quest for continued learning is tough, as a new grad you'll also need to invest in continuing education. This often looks like reading up on clinical questions at home or attending continuing education events. As an NP, I find it difficult to do at-home study. The work day is exhausting, so the last thing I'm motivated to do when my shift is over is pick up an ECG interpretation guide. So, here at MidlevelU, we've created a solution to the problem - a weekly education program that fits into your workday. 

Can you tell me more about the program?

Midlevels for the Medically Underserved is a residency-like program for nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Traditionally, the program matches NPs and PAs with supportive facilities that treat underserved patient populations and allow enrollees to participate in a year-long clinical curriculum. Now, we've opened up curriculum participation to nurse practitioners and physician assistants outside of the MMU program! 

What does participation in the curriculum program look like? 

MidlevelU's curriculum program for less experienced providers has two components: 

1. Kickoff conference

2. Weekly didactic sessions

At the kickoff conference, nurse practitioners in the program convene at MidlevelU HQ in Nashville, TN for two days to participate in hands-on learning like suturing and office procedures as well as other education sessions. We cap off each day's hard work with a social outing to connect with other program participants and grow a peer support network. 

Following the kickoff, participants meet weekly in an online classroom setting to hear from experts about a different clinical topic each week. Curriculum includes subjects like ECG interpretation, understanding anemias, management of palpitations in primary care and more. Participants also take part in a discussion based on a different topic each week. Discussions have included subjects like lab interpretation, edema differentials, preparing for your annual performance review and talking with the anti-vax parent. Discussions allow the curriculum to adapt to pressing needs of participants. 

Who pays for the program?

Employers cover the cost of participation in MidlevelU's curriculum program. They also allow participants 90-minutes/week to participate in the live education sessions. So, you'll need to get your boss on board since there is a time and financial commitment involved. 

How do I sign up for the program?

We welcome less experienced nurse practitioners and physician assistants (or even experienced providers who need a refresher) interested in improving their clinical knowledge.

Here's how you can participate: 

1. Let your employer know you'd like to participate in the curriculum program. This includes attending the 2-day Nashville kickoff as well as 90 minutes/week of live online classroom sessions. 

2. Ask your employer to request a curriculum overview packet or reach out to our Director of Programs, Audi Westgate, at audi@midlevelu.com. 

3. Once we hear from your employer, we'll get in touch to iron out the details of your participation. 

When does the program start?

MidlevelU's curriculum program kicks off twice each year, in April and September. We still have room for a few more participants in our September 2018 cohort, so it's not too late to ask your employer about participating this year. We suggest enrolling quickly as spots fill up fast and September's right around the corner. We hope to meet you in Nashville at our upcoming kickoff! 

Questions? Contact MidlevelU's Director of Programs, Audi Westgate, at audi@midlevelu.com. 

 

Comments

I am starting a new job and am alotted $1500/yr for CME, would this cover the cost of your program? My start date isn't until the middle of September

Lisa Johnson

Hello, can specialized NP s get involved in this course? I am specialized in orthopedics, and I do not deal with anything else, is there a way I can do this but it pertain to what I practice in?

Aaron Deen

Would like information about funding this program myself, as I am pending hire effective Oct 1. Specifically would like to know schedules for the 90-minute live online classes so that I can let my employer know.

Alison

What is the option if you are currently unemployed?

Beverly Williams