How to Evaluate Offers for a Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant Career

February 9, 2015


As you prepare to transition to clinical practice from your nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or other advanced-practice clinician training program, you are likely to receive a variety of job offers.  Choosing among these offers can be a tough task, especially when combined with the other professional and personal responsibilities demanding your attention. Your first career move sets the course for the future of your professional life. Make your best choice by evaluating offers based on the following criteria for your Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant career:

 

EXPECTATIONS AND COMPENSATION

The primary consideration when evaluating a job offer should be the expectations of the position. How much independence will you have? How much time will you be required to commit per day/week? What will you be required to do aside from clinical responsibilities? Read through the job offer and contract carefully to ensure you are not signing up for responsibilities you either don’t want to or can’t manage.

Another important consideration is the compensation you will receive. At the basic level, you should be paid fairly for the work you will do.  Also keep in mind that there are different types of pay: base pay and bonus potential.  Calculate your base pay, and remember that is the only guaranteed income you will receive.  Potential bonuses are typically not paid monthly and can’t be counted on for paying your bills.  Beyond that, your compensation should be enough to help you pay your debts (such as student loans), live your desired lifestyle, and invest in your future. There are a variety of factors that affect this consideration, from the compensation model you are offered to the earning potential you will have.

 

Learn more about key factors you should consider when evaluating compensation offers.

FAMILY AND PERSONAL NEEDS

Life is not solely about your job. The job offer you select will impact how much—or how little—you can do in the areas of your life that aren’t work-related. For example, new job opportunities may require you to re-locate. If you are considering a move and aren’t already familiar with the new location, you will have to spend time assessing your options when it comes to housing, entertainment, and leisure activities. Furthermore, you will need to consider the options it presents for your family.  Note that, no employer should expect you to move exclusively at your expense.

There are many ways to learn about a new location prior to accepting an offer from an employer.  Many employers will introduce you to real estate agents, banks, and civic organizations.  But keep in mind that if an employer believes the location is not exceptionally desirable, they may only show you the best the area has to offer.  One great way to learn about your options in the potential location is to reach out to your social and professional networks for information.  However first-hand experience is the best experience.  You should plan a trip to the location to explore it and see for yourself before making a relocation decision.

If you will be moving with family, make sure to discuss their thoughts and wishes when evaluating job offers. The career decision you make deeply impacts them, including their ability to lead the lives they want and your ability to provide for their needs. Will your spouse have career opportunities in the new location? Will your children have the best school options available? How far will you be from extended family? Understanding the wide impact your career decision can have helps your make an informed decision.

 

To help yourself prepare for relocation, you should take a look at our guide on the subject.

Choosing the right job is not a task that should be taken lightly. The impact of the position you pick affects your life and the lives of people you care about. At Falcon Healthcare Agency, we believe that our healthcare professionals come first.  We focus on your needs to evaluate your ideal jobs and shield you from unsatisfactory options. Want to learn more about how to make your next career move your best career move?  Contact us today to get started!