While providing unparalleled patient care is at the core of everything you do as a nurse practitioner, it’s important to remember that tending to the health of your career is equally vital to your growth and professional well-being.
The decisions you make regarding where, when, and how much you work shapes your long-term development. It also provides you with the opportunities you need to succeed.
That’s why many nurse practitioners are turning to locum tenens. These travel nursing jobs offer NPs valuable chances to explore opportunities beyond those available in a typical day job.
If you’ve considered locum tenens, or are interested in learning more, check out these top 10 reasons you’ll want to work it into your professional rotation.
1. Focus on the patient
Ever notice how it gets harder and harder to give the kind of time and attention you want to patients who need it most? You’re not alone. Whether you call it bureaucracy, paperwork, red tape, or simply the administrative beast that stands in the way of you doing your job, working locum tenens assignments gives you the ability to focus solely on the clinical aspects of patient care.
2. Escape monotony
Getting stuck in a rut is a reality for any professional, regardless of the profession. Sometimes the best medicine is to break from the day-to-day. Nurse practitioners who work locum tenens get to experience a variety of settings, which gives them exposure to new methods, unique perspectives, and interesting challenges. It’s a great way to stay refreshed and engaged.
3. Find full practice opportunities
You’ve worked hard to achieve your status and competency. But not all states recognize your contributions equally. The idea of full practice, or independent care, is gaining steam nationwide. In fact, 21 states and the district of Columbia currently give NPs authority to “assess, diagnose, interpret diagnostic tests, and prescribe medications independently.” If you’re not in one of these states, locum tenens can help you get to one that recognizes your expertise.
4. Test drive a job
No two clinics or facilities are alike. And what might seem perfect in an interview can quickly prove to be anything but your first weeks on the job. Locum tenens is a great way to let you work a job before deciding if you want to commit to it long-term. It gives you a chance to see their procedures, observe their inner workings, engage with staff, and see if you you’re a great match. If you are, congratulations! If not, simply move on to the next stop. It’s that easy.
5. Give back and provide mentorship
Late-career NPs understand the value of their hard-earned experience. But sharing that experience can be difficult. Rather than retire and check-out entirely, many NPs find joy in practicing on a limited basis through locum tenens. They can help a clinic or facility in need while offering mentorship to younger nurses, thereby extending their personal satisfaction.
6. Avoid burnout
Today’s healthcare systems are being pushed to their limits. More patients, increased quotas, and suffocating regulations mean healthcare providers are trying to squeeze more time with patients into smaller windows of time. Because locum tenens is flexible, NPs can remove much of the systemic burdens while having a choice in where and when they work.
7. Eliminate politics
Every staff has them. Whether it’s personality conflicts or administrative power plays, politics can sink morale and leave staff feeling frustrated. With locum tenens, you remove yourself from those hassles and headaches, allowing you to focus more fully on the work.
8. Take control of your workload
Flexibility is the foundation of locum tenens. You choose when, where, and why you work. You are able to review all available jobs and choose the ones that are most appealing to you. Want to take a few months off? Locum tenens will be there when you’re ready. Looking to explore a new city? Select from jobs in that area. Need to work closer to family? Chances are there’s a locum tenens job that will accommodate. With locum tenens, you’re in control.
9. Enjoy more opportunities to relax
The days of having to decide between getting ample rest and serving patients may start feeling like a distant memory. Hours you previously spent working overtime or taking call may be filled with family and friends, hobbies, physical fitness, community service—or absolutely nothing at all. Since you can manage your own schedule, building in time for R&R is easy.
10. Supplement income
Finally, that all-important factor: Money. The basic reality is that you do a job and it’s important it provides you the income you need to thrive. For more than 30 years, locum tenens has provided healthcare professionals a vehicle for expanding their opportunities to earn. Whether you work it as a supplement to your day job or as a full-time opportunity, NPs can use locum tenens to earn more, add to a rainy-day fund, pay for that dream vacation, or just feel more financially sound.
The best way to find out if locum tenens is right for you is to give it a try. Or speak to a nurse practitioner who works it. The consultants at Weatherby Healthcare can help you review open locum tenens positions, assess your goals, and get in contact with trusted nursing professionals who have the experience you need to give you guidance and advice.
Explore your options today.