Have you thought of becoming a nurse practitioner but you think it will probably take too long, it’s too hard or it will cost too much?
I recently spoke to Shasta Mitchell who shared her amazing journey with me.
Shasta originally wanted to become a doctor, but she changed her mind before she graduated from high school, after being influenced by her mentor who opened her eyes to the many opportunities that a career in nursing offered.
After graduating with her BSN in 2005, she knew that was just the start of her journey.
Shasta shares four advantages that inspired her to become a nurse practitioner.
1. Professional Growth
Being a nurse practitioner can give you plenty of growth opportunities.
Most people do not realize how much a nurse can do. Nurse Practitioners can work in several different areas of medicine.
Working as a nurse practitioner also allows you to break from the stereotype of bedside nursing.
2. Giving Back
Shasta uses her time to give back to her community.
At her church, she organizes monthly Health Fairs with the members.
These include taking blood pressures, weights and heights and offering wellness education.
Another way she gives back to her community is by being a part-time nursing tutor in the university she graduated from when she did her BSN
In her daily practice, Shasta has total control of her patient’s care and treatment management.
This means, she is responsible from the beginning to the end of her patient’s plan of care. This includes the preventative aspects as educating her patients to live a better quality of life, to offering treatment options.
She makes all the initial decisions verses depending on other partners of the medical team, before she can plan for her patient care.
4. Flexible Hours and Great Compensation
As a nurse practitioner, her work involves making physical assessments, doing lab work, giving vaccines and immunizations, educating her clients and making referrals to physicians.
Shasta plans her time and schedule. The compensation is so much more than that of a regular hospital employed nurse.
When I asked Shasta how she managed to keep working as well as train? She shared how she started her Nurse Practitioner training after being a nurse for five years.
She decided not to allow the course-work to overwhelm her. She took her time and it took her about four years to complete because she was working, as well.
Even though it took longer than the regular two years, she chose this route since it fitted well with her other commitments.
Some of Shasta’s challenges include being a minority nurse and female.
Some of the clients as well as her colleagues do not think she is a qualified professional because of the stereotypical beliefs that some people have.
This makes them not take her seriously. It becomes a challenge because it puts her in a position where she has to prove herself or explain that she is a Nurse Practitioner.
She enjoys what she does and does not allow these opinions to stress her.
Shasta shares three tips for nurses who want to pursue the path of becoming a nurse practitioner.
- Be determined and dedicated and it will be doable.
- Set small goals that lead to larger goals.
- Expect ups and downs but don’t give up.
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