Avoid Awkwardness: Finding a Nurse Practitioner Job When You Already Have One

The awkwardness of looking for a nurse practitioner job when you already have one is undeniable. Juggling a full patient load along with top secret calls and interviews creates a logistical nightmare. Making sure the coworker you mistakenly told that you’re planning to leave a your current position doesn’t leak the secret is stressful. Not to mention, you have mixed feelings about your departure, anyway. Securing a new nurse practitioner position while holding another must be approached with intentionality.

Here are a few tips to help avoid awkwardness as you map out your plan for finding a new nurse practitioner position.

Keep Your Job Search Top Secret

You may have close relationships with your coworkers. Posting your desire for a new position on Facebook may help you identify new employment possibilities. Whatever the reason behind the temptation to get the word out about your job search, squash it! News spreads quickly and you don’t want your current employer to get wind of the fact that you’ll be leaving the practice before you land another job. Shhh…

Choose Quality Over Quantity

Many nurse practitioners mistakenly believe that applying to as many positions as possible helps their chances of landing a job. Submitting application after application, however doesn’t typically increase your odds of getting hired. Rather, it leads NPs to submit incomplete or poorly written applications lacking focus. Identify the few positions in which you are most interested and for which you are most qualified. Devote your time and energy to pursuing them. Follow your online application up with a phone call. Tailor your resume to mirror the employer’s job description. This way, an interview is more likely to follow.

Don’t Bash Your Current Boss

Your supervising physician might be a complete @$&^*, or your workplace may not utilize nurse practitioners effectively, but speaking negatively of your employer or supervisor in an interview is a big mistake. The healthcare world is smaller than you might think. Medical directors, practice owners and other administrators often know one another which makes sharing negative feedback a risk. Not to mention, if you speak poorly of your current employer or boss, your next one can only assume you will do the same of them. Be diplomatic when discussing your motivation for seeking a new position.

Maintain Consistency in Your Current Role

If you’re the kind of NP who wears scrubs to work and you start showing up to work in a business suit  alarm bells sound in your current employer’s head. You can only be using your lunch break for one thing. And, it’s not chowing down chips and queso at the local Mexican joint. A change in behavior from dress to habits to work performance can signal that you’re thinking of moving on. Maintain your current job responsibilities. It’s the right thing to do and only fair that you don’t check out mentally before leaving your job physically.

Choose References Wisely

Listing your nurse practitioner coworkers or current boss as a reference is risky. Even if your interviewer promises to maintain confidentiality, mistakes get made. Your prospective employer will understand if you prefer your current boss not be contacted as a reference. Omit the names of individuals with whom you are currently working from your reference list.

Limit Your Job Search to Personal Time

Right or wrong, if you’re using a company computer to facilitate your next career move, your current may notice. Internet activity in some settings may be monitored. And, planning your next steps while you are being compensated by the employer you’ll be leaving is shady behavior. Take a planned day off scheduling interviews during this time. Peruse job boards before and after work rather than during downtime between patient visits.

Be Honest

Even if you implement these stealth tactics, your boss may infer that you’re looking for a new job. If you’re confronted, don’t deny it. Embrace the awkward. If your employer has already realized you plan to move on, you put your credibility, professional reputation, and a future positive reference on the line by lying. So, fess up.

Navigating the awkwardness of a job transition can be difficult and uncomfortable. Fortunately, you are more likely to get hired if you’re currently employed. Managing your job search and current workload will pay off. Planning your approach in advance helps prevent common mistakes nurse practitioners make in the process.


ThriveAP Career Advisors can help you avoid the awkwardness of finding a new nurse practitioner position. Career Advisors take care of the job search process for you start to finish! Let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll get started on your search. 


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