Since my Texas government gig didn’t work out, I needed to find an assignment to start ASAP. The only active licenses I had at the time were: Texas, California, and Florida.
For some reason, the Texas market for locum tenens positions had been dry all summer. I knew going back to California was not an option- as I promised myself I wouldn’t go back until at least next year. Lastly, Florida has a high density of Nurse Practitioners, so they do not have many traveling assignments available at any given time.
When I had thought the Texas assignment was a for sure thing, I slowly began applying for licenses in North Carolina and Virginia. I was in no rush because I thought I wouldn’t need to utilize either one of them until the following year. Lesson learned: always have new state licenses that you are working on.
Fortunately, the same day that I had turned down the Texas assignment, my Virginia license came in! During that same week, I had already had an interview with a site and accepted their offer!
They wanted me to start the following week, so everything happened pretty quickly, which I was grateful for. It wasn’t until I was on my way to Virginia that I realized Virginia requires a furnishing license to prescribed ALL medications, not just controlled substances like a few other states do.
I immediately freaked out thinking the site wouldn’t want me to start right away anymore. I was disappointed that no one from the agency noticed I was missing that licensing! Hello licensing and credentialing team! I was also upset at myself for forgetting to check the “Licensing” tab on my blog, which includes a chart of all required licenses per state. Of course the furnishing license requirement was on there, but I forgot to look!
After voicing my concerns to my recruiter, she informed me that the site still wanted me to proceed with my initial start date. Apparently the site does not allow any of their providers, including both physicians and nurse practitioners, to prescribe their own medications for the first 2-4 weeks. They have an onsite pharmacy in which providers dispense medications, so they only allow you to prescribe after formal training. In the mean time, any prescriptions I would need to order for my patients, would be placed by my supervising physician.
My family was surprised at how quickly I was leaving when I accepted the job, but it didn’t surprise me. My friends thought I was crazy when I was making my way up to Virginia without any official lodging details until the day of my arrival. To me, this was all a normal course of being a traveling Nurse Practitioner, where flexibility is always key!