This article is more of an opinion piece, but one of observational truth that I am sure many nurse practitioners reading this will agree with: nursing school and advanced nursing education is designed to produce work horses for the corporate and bureaucratic healthcare system in this country… The sooner you realize that what “you should do” is nothing more than a way to keep you reliant, dependent, and subservient to the system, the sooner you will be to freeing yourself from the grip of large organizational healthcare slavery.
When I came to this realization, my life improved for the better almost instantaneously. It was like the curtains were opened in front of me, and for the first time in my life I saw the reality of the world around me and how I was nothing more than a pawn in a giant chess game being played by bureaucrats, power hungry physicians, and high-level healthcare executives that couldn’t give a rats ass about my wellbeing. All they cared about are the numbers and what my “production” was. Nothing more.
This is how the overall system in this country is designed, in and out of healthcare:
- Be brainwashed into thinking that the ONLY way to succeed is by going to college to get a “great” job.
- Graduate High School.
- Go to college not having much of an idea of what you want to do in life. Come on… Did you REALLY know what you wanted to do at 20 years old? We are still kids at that age for all intents and purposes. We are not fully developed at that age. True adulthood happens around 30 for most people…
- Pick a degree in hopes that it will land you a job, which luckily for nursing, will guarantee you a job as an RN right out of school.
- Maybe go back to school thinking it will increase your salary and overall freedom. Which is true for the Elite Nurse Practitioners out there, but for many, it could not be further from the truth. You might make just as much as you did as an RN, or even if you do make more, you now work more and have more responsibility.
- Be a good little employee for your corporate healthcare and governmental overlords for the next 40 years and feel blessed to retire at 65 with possibly a decent amount in your 401k and the promise of receiving your Social Security benefits.
- Enjoy your “golden years”, which we all know is a crock of shit for many people unless you take care of yourself and have awesome genetics. Most people after the age of 65 are in degrading health and it rapidly worsens year by year.
This is what we are led to believe is the only way to live this life.
In addition, you MUST:
- Take out student loans.
- Purchase a new car with debt.
- Purchase a new house that you truly cannot afford with the ridiculous mortgage you were approved for.
- Use credit cards.
- Keep up with the “Joneses” next door.
Now you are strapped with debt and even MORE RELIANT, DEPENDENT, and SUBSERVIENT to your employer. You don’t have a choice, right? You are a couple paychecks away from financial disaster… You now must be a good employee, or else! This is how the system controls you. This wasn’t accidental friends.
This is how the system is designed, and unfortunately, far too many Americans live this way. Even sadder, is that MANY of my sisters and brothers in nursing live this way as well… It is a fear tactic used for control.
There is a severe lack of basic financial and business education within our educational system. Even more so in nursing. We all must take some BS “nursing management” or “advanced healthcare informatics” or whatever nonsense class it is while in school that truly does not benefit us in the real world. Additionally, half of the classes we take are nothing but fluff filler and do very few of us any good. But we are led to believe, regardless of these classes, that we will graduate on the other side with secure employment and a mountain of opportunity at our fingertips.
HAH… not for many. Sure, anyone can finish RN school and secure a solid job almost immediately, but unfortunately for the nurse practitioner, it is becoming harder and harder to find decent employment. Advanced nursing education continues to pump out more and more graduates who think that opportunity abounds.
There is opportunity, if you are willing to be paid $50 an hour and become another worker bee for the machine. And that is where the problem is friends:
The system is designed by people who benefit at the expense of the hard-working nurse practitioner.
Low salaries are GOOD for employers, corporations, and government sponsored healthcare.
Large enrollment numbers are GOOD for nursing programs.
Large amounts of nurse practitioner students graduating who take the certification exams are GOOD for the AANP, ANCC, and BONs.
Market saturation is GOOD for our corporate and physician overlords as they know it allows them to get away with MORE AND MORE while giving us LESS AND LESS.
If you disagree with what I am saying, then you must live in a great area and have been truly blessed, because this is happening ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. I see it EVERY DAY over on the Elite Nurse Practitioner Facebook Group. If you think you are immune, well you are not. Market saturation begins to creep all over with time…
Regardless, I need my Elite NP sisters and brothers to be different. I want you to go down a different path. A path that “you shouldn’t” and that is “risky” and possibly “dangerous”, from what we are told. Remember, venturing out on your own and living a life on YOUR TERMS does little for the system. The system wants you to be in debt and reliant on it. It helps feed it. It gives them control over you.
Give the system the middle finger.
Instead, follow The Elite Nurse Practitioner Model I have designed. Following this will help you be NIMBLE during the very uncertain future ahead of us.
Being debt free allows you to take more chances and live a freer life.
Having your own practice and a passive income source will allow you to do whatever you want, whenever you want.
Keeping your business expenses low decreases your risks. Remember, a cheaply started business is a business that can be closed just as cheaply if necessary.
Living below your means will allow you to not rely on an employer that doesn’t care about you.
Seriously, do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what the system wants you to do, which is going into debt and getting a full-time job that you are utterly dependent on to survive.
The system wants you to be a compliant, productive, and a submissive work horse for 40 years, sucking you dry of your vitality and life.
As an alternative to the system, build a small niche side practice as soon as you possibly can! Build multiple income streams, with a passive one thrown into the mix. Invest your money for the future. Be as financially redundant as you can. If you do this, you will break away from the system and build a life that is simply unimaginable to most people. A financially free life that is practically immune to most outside factors.
I do what I want when I want. I am not alone either. There are HUNDREDS of nurse practitioners that live the same way. Even more so, there are MILLIONS of entrepreneurs doing the same thing.
All it takes from you is to open your eyes and see the truth and to take a SMALL risk. That is all it is friends; a combination of taking a small RISK and a little time that can result in a HUGE positive change in your life.
You only live once, so what are you waiting for?
Cheers and to your freedom!
Yes I agree. What’s worse is that I’m in NP school now- I’m not learning a thing. It’s all just fluff and then a pharm or patho class.
I’m building my first business with a medical director that agreed to 10% cut.
I am exhausted barely have time to to even sleep and going to be in debt forever unless I really do well in business. I am considering not continuing- what I want is to be an entrepreneur and I can do that as an RN with a medical director. I really don’t know what the point is – great I can prescribe medication. But I’ll still be poor.
Keep your head up Sara. Having the NP will seriously open many doors for you as an entrepreneur compared to just being an RN. So, I would highly advise continuing down that path. Yes, the extra debt sucks, but look at it as an investment. The power to prescribe, diagnose, and perform procedures should not be underestimated! Continue as planned and get started with your business TODAY!
Amen Justin and thank you for creating this platform/outlet!!!
These facts are A-SHAME!! It’s disappointing to see PA”s come out of school (in a side by side comparison of NP’s) ready to act independent in their role. Yet, it’s us, the NP’S, that have the prior medical background & real world bedside experience.
We need to graduate NP school with an incredible ability to practice independently. We’ve been here & done that long before graduating. Yet, instead of having more clinical exposure we spend the first year in NP school cutting & pasting and creating Powerpoint presentations. While this form of communication is needed I can learn that off of YouTube.
There continues to be an ongoing outcry of the poorly put together NP curriculum with minimumal changes.Yet, they are still able to lure us back for a doctorate…if not for nothing else but to aquire the two letters Dr. In front of our names. As if to say all our experience cannot be valued unless we have these two “important” letters in the forefront.
If it weren’t for my experience & the bravery of other NP’S like yourself pushing us…I would have never opened my own practice. That’s because our capabilities & skill set are promoted as inferior. It is unfortunate at times to see SOME RN’s lack of respect for our role as barriers to our success as well…”a house divided in itself cannot stand”. That awareness too needs to be addressed.
Often times when the media calls on a medical “expert” it is assumed that it will have to be a MD. This creates confusion in the NP’S role in healthcare.
In the last 3 months alone I’ve diagnosed 2 Lupus cases, 1 cervical CA and 6 severely vitamin D deficient pt’s. This was after being under the care of a well known MD for years.
A ton of patient education needs to take place coupled with a NP curriculum that will focus on NP’S being equipped for independent practice on day 1. We also need to continue to work within ourselves and ask hard questions like “why am I so comfortable working like this?” And then work on those personal fears.
I rarely, if ever, post my concerns via social media. Yet, I could go on for hours…lol.. It’s such a bone of contention because the AMA has so much money to make us (NP’S) look like children running around with prescription pads that our patients are missing out on high quality healthcare. What’s more threatening is if we can begin to internalize this negative belief system overtime. But, by staying aware & refusing to believe in this propaganda..we can come out v-i-c-t-o-r-i-o-u-s!
Good health to you!
Yalanda Howard, AGNP-BC
Wholehearted Adult Health NP, PLLC
I completely agree with you… Don’t even get me started on the DNP. I do not see the utility in the degree nor will I ever go back for it. I would rather spend that tuition money opening another business or investing in an index fund…. this would actually BENEFIT my family and I.
Good for you for diagnosing those conditions and speaking the truth here. You are another NP that is pushing the envelope and building their life on their own terms. THANK YOU for this commentary, more NPs should read this. And good luck with your business 🙂 I am happy to hear Elite NP as helped you!
Thank you, thank you, thank you Justin for creating the EliteNP and for telling things just like they are! I appreciate you and your wisdom so much! You are an inspiration and source of unrelenting motivation to me!
Thanks for the support Curita! I am just trying to open the eyes of my NP sisters and brothers to help everyone break free… It is time for us to earn what we deserve and to build a truly professionally free and fulfilling life.
I completely agree. I was fortunate to come from a business background in addition to working for the SBA before I was a nurse and always knew I wanted to start a med spa/wellness practice as soon as I finished NP school, which I only needed so I didn’t have to give my profits to an MD.
I would add to your piece, the ridiculousness of hospital clinics forcing all decisions to go by guidelines or decision trees, removing whatever shred of autonomy was left as well as the sheer larcenous nature of insurance companies which just suck money out of both patient and practice while creating a wall between them that all but guarantees the status quo of marginal health.
I’m so happy there are people like you that share your knowledge, thanks!
Excellent points! When you play the insurance accepting corporate game, you truly give away your autonomy to practice… Like you said, you have to follow THEIR RULES, which are often times not in the best interests of the patients. It is ALL ABOUT the MONEY… Same is true with physician collaboration. It has nothing to do with patient safety but everything to do with power and money.
Thanks for the comment!
Creating an online mental health practice has set me free as your article describes. It’s called OmOmbre. Per review websites such as Google & Yelp, it’s the best mental health practice in San Diego where I live. It’s provider driven (not administratively drive) and patient focused which means better results and patient/provider satisfaction. Making my own schedule, a sense of pride in owning something, making twice the money I did before while now having time to do things like eat, exercise and use the restroom if needed is very different than before. Find a CPA to help you create the corporation and website developer than wallah, hardest parts are done! I’m still paying a collaborative physician to supervise my practice (he is always available, a tremendous source of knowledge if needed and I’m eternally grateful that he agreed to fill this requirement for me) but my knowledge base is strong now and I haven’t needed to reach out to him with questions in several years so when California lifts this requirement next year, after some time, I’ll discontinue that service with him since it costs thousands of dollars monthly. Yes, stretch your bravery muscles and go for it!
Awesome to hear Tiffany! Good for you for breaking free as well. Far too many NPs out there do not think it is possible. You are proof ONCE AGAIN that it can be done. Congrats on your success!
This harsh truth makes me beyond sad.
In none of my courses: BSN, MSN, DNP was ever mentioned you will be a highly skilled Horse and your NPI will be milked by others. I work for agencies that collect 50% of what the profit I generate for them.
At least I woke up now.
Blessed to have you in my life.