Thursday, August 4, 2011

What Does A Nurse Practitioner Do All Day?

I get asked this question from many nursing students and thought that I would give you a little peek into my day.

I walk into the back door with a box of charts that I worked on the night before. I can't finish my notes on paper due to my excessive need to talk to my patients and my innate ability to avoid that nasty process. I DETEST paperwork. Thank goodness we are going electronic in a month at the office. The pharmacy will be glad as well.

I head to my office and sigh at the rest of the pile of paperwork that came in the day before when my front desk manager went to check the mail and the fax machine. Take a deep breath, grab my script pad, stethoscope, and first chart of the day and here we go!

Let me tell you right off the bat that I love my job! I always liked being a floor nurse and sometimes worked as a charge nurse but there is nothing better than making my own decisions regarding the patients that I care for. If I am stumped by something, I can always walk around the hallway and consult with my fellow MD who works with me in the office. There are several hours of time that we never lay eyes on each other because we are so busy. Family practice is fun as there is a mix of kids and adults. It's nice to see a smiling face of children who are surprised to see that it's still me that sees them. Often the biggest complaint I get from parents is the fact that too many offices rotate their providers. Kids and adults like consistency.

Most days my mornings are medium to heavy and my afternoons fill up with walkins. I range from a busy day of 24 to a mild day of 13. I prefer around 17-19 to keep the flow going well. Too much idle time makes for a loud and boisterous nursing staff. I don't mind but the doc I work with is used to quiet. Unfortunately, he is outnumbered by women 6 to 1.

Lunch time usually consists of my working on paperwork if I brought something or we got out locally to get away for a little bit.

Afternoons consist of the same flow of patients, phone calls, and paperwork. Sometimes, like today, a patient will show up at the last minute and I will be there for a little longer but I don't mind if it's legitimate.

I often draw labs on the more difficult patients since I have the most hospital experience. I flush porto-caths on some of my patients. The most favorite part of my day is the diagnosis of problems. It's like a detective story every day.

Hope this helps any nurses who might want to go into the nurse practitioner world. Any questions, please leave a comment and I will elaborate on things further.


  1. walking here with a smile.. have a nice day ~ =D

    Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

    1. Sounds like a busy day. At least you get to talk to patients often! Thanks for giving us a taste of what an NP does.

  2. Hi, I left a comment o your old blog (07) but I will try here as well.
    I am three classes away from MSNL, leadership was not the route I wanted but I was fearful about going to school becaue it had been so long. It appears from what I have read you took the same route that I intend to take with the exception that I plan to have NP with certificate post grad by 2015.
    How much more difficult is NP school than all of the other programs we make it through?
    How does billing work in an office?
    Regarding Adult, I am comfortable that NP school will teach me tons but I will be adding to what I already know so it will be familiar. is kids mother's babies that kind of thing that I have concern for.

    How difficult is the NP program and how difficult was it to find a job?

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