Each month I will include a blog entry answering some of the most common questions I get from readers about locum tenens as a nurse practitioner. Feel free to comment any questions you have or email me at travelingNP.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How do I know if a particular locum tenens job is right for me?
Upon searching for an assignment, you can easily become overwhelmed because there are so many jobs out there. I think you will need to first narrow down your job search to a particular state. Then consider what you value the most out of a job. Is it the type of facility (urgent care vs community health center)? Is it the hours worked (day shift vs night shift/ weekends vs weekdays)? Is it the length of an assignment (4 weeks vs 6 months)? Etc.
Remember sites are looking for locum tenens nurse practitioners because we are supposed to be flexible. So if this new job is open on Saturdays, they will likely request you to work some Saturdays. If working on weekends is not an option for you, then do not accept the position. If you are a new nurse practitioner, you should definitely stay away from solo-practice settings. This means you are expected to work alone which isn’t ideal for a new grad, because you need mentors to ask questions to.
Be sure to ask the right questions when you are being interviewed. See this past post for more details:
To answer this question, there may not always be the “perfect” assignment, but as long as it meets your needs, you should be fine. The more I work in locum tenens, the more I narrow down my job search to meet my maximum patients-per-day ratio. If a job is in my ideal city with a 30 patient per day schedule, I would rather choose the job with a 20 patient per day schedule in a city 1 or 2 hours further away. This way I know my work-life will be less stressful.