13 Effective Tips to Find a Job as a Nurse Practitioner and Get Hired in 2023

Written By: Lauren Jacobson MS, RN, WHNP-BC

Maybe you are close to graduating, or perhaps you have graduated and been on the job hunt for a while. Either way, are you wondering how to find a job as a new nurse practitioner?

Well, there are many ways to do this. In the article "13 effective tips to find a job as a new nurse practitioner and get hired in 2023” we will give you expert advice on how to find a job, and I will share some of my own experiences as well. From leveraging your current network, attending events such as career fairs, and using search engines, we will go over all the tools you have to land your first job as a new nurse practitioner.


Finding a job as a new nurse practitioner is not only challenging when you are new, but it can also be overwhelming and a bit intimidating. Have you ever seen job posts that say, "New NPs welcome, 2 years of experience required"? Do you find this incredibly confusing and unfair? Yeah well, me too! Job posts like that do not leave much room to feel confident.

I once had a friend who was 10 years older than me. I was in my early twenties, and she told me- “if you meet 50% of the requirements, apply.” Studies have shown that men will apply for jobs when they meet 60% of the requirements. Women wait until that number hits 90-100%. I can tell you from experience that you do not need to meet all of the requirements to land a job.

So put yourself out there! The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to the NP role with many states moving towards independent practice for NPs during the pandemic. While the job market was impacted, the demand for NPs is expected to grow by 46% between 2021 and 2031, so the opportunities are there. You just need to find them and get yourself to the top of employers’ lists.

When I was trying to find a job as a new nurse practitioner, I found that keeping an open mind was the most important. As you look through these tips, remember that being flexible will help you.



Finding a job when you are a new graduate in any field can be tough. That “imposter feeling” and the “fake it ‘till you make it” perspective never truly go away though. So, sit back and settle in. It is going to be quite the trip, but I promise you will find it rewarding. The following are the 13 effective tips to find a job as a new nurse practitioner and get hired in 2023.

TIP #1: Expand your network

About the Tip:

I remember when LinkedIn launched and the term “networking” was quite the buzzword. While that still may be the case, there is a valid reason for it. Every job (whether as an NP or not) that I have gotten has been directly related to networking.

Networking is not just limited to LinkedIn though. It involves conscientious engagement of the people you know (both professionally and personally) to search for opportunities and advertise your skills. Networking is a skill you will use throughout your entire career too. So, hone this skill, head to some conferences, call your preceptors, and get going!

Why Following this Tip is Important:

Networking is important to finding a job as a new nurse practitioner because it enables you to learn from other healthcare professionals and their experiences, while also teaching you how to market yourself. While competition is out there, most NPs want to help the new generation of nurse practitioners succeed. They have been there themselves. Many of them have gotten jobs through their network in the past and may be looking to pay it forward. Additionally, they have numerous resources at their disposal and may be aware of job opportunities that have not been posted yet.

You can also expand your current network by going to conferences and reaching out to people you don’t yet know in the healthcare field. As you engage in professional development opportunities outside of your NP school, you will naturally expand your network.

TIP #2: Use the internet

About the Tip:

You probably have already checked or are at least aware of the major job search engines like Indeed and LinkedIn. As someone who has spent time recruiting healthcare professionals for hospitals internationally, I can tell you that they are a great source for finding an NP job. You can refine your search by date posted, location, experience, and more.

Don't limit yourself to search engines though. Also, go directly to the source. Do you have a clinic that you were a student at? Is there a hospital in your new town you would like to work at? Go to their websites and search the job openings.

Why Following this Tip is Important:

These are the most common ways that healthcare organizations recruit. So, the websites are often kept up to date and applications are reviewed relatively quickly. You can also make profiles on LinkedIn and Indeed showing that you are open for work or highlighting your experience. This can help make you more visible to recruiters.

TIP #3: Get help with your resume and cover letter

About the Tip:

You probably know that you need to update your resume and have a cover letter when you apply. Did you know that each cover letter needs to be very specifically tailored to the position you apply for though?

If you are like me, you despise writing cover letters. It feels repetitive, it can be difficult to talk about yourself, and let's face it just not that fun. Do you know what is fun though? Finding a job as a new nurse practitioner. Get help with your resume and cover letter. A second pair of eyes is rarely a bad idea.

Why Following this Tip is Important:

This tip is important when you try to find a job as a new nurse practitioner because it can be difficult to step outside of your own head and look at yourself objectively. Trying to step into the shoes of a potential employer while looking at your resume and cover letter can be very tough.

Having a friend, former colleague, or preceptor take a look at the job post, your resume, and your cover letter can help you tailor it so that a potential employer tosses your application into the "interview" pile. Let's face it, if you are writing application after application, your brain is probably getting a little fuzzy. Having someone else help by reviewing and providing feedback decreases the likelihood that you’ll miss something super important.

Remember, don’t just repeat your resume in your cover letter! These are two different documents and I think I learned this the hard way.

TIP #4: Create a portfolio

About the Tip:

No, we have not transitioned to art school. Anyone and everyone should have a portfolio of themselves at their disposal to be brought out at interviews, networking events, and/or job fairs. A portfolio is a collection of your work, including examples of patient care plans and case studies, to showcase your skills and experience. Portfolios can be both online and on paper. Some people create a simple website of themselves and add a link to it in their resume.

Why Following this Tip is Important:

When I was in NP school, we were required to do this. Not only has it helped me keep my credentialing, skills, and experience organized but even if I don't show it to someone, it has helped me better market myself in person. Finding a job as a new nurse practitioner can be tough for sure, but having a portfolio can help you uniquely highlight yourself.

Feel free to get creative with it too. Mine was simple and in a three-ring binder, but some people included a section on their hobbies including artwork. Remember, when you get hired, they are hiring YOU. So, show them what makes you different from everyone else.

TIP #5: Use a staffing agency

About the Tip:

I never thought of staffing agencies until one reached out to me for a part-time RN position while I was finishing my direct entry program. I ended up working for them part-time at a few different sites. They continue to reach out to me years later with super interesting NP roles, even though I no longer live in the country. It’s enough to almost make me want to come back.

Staffing agencies are used by healthcare organizations to find qualified professionals. They are typically paid by the healthcare agency and not you. An example of one that I used is Favorite Healthcare Staffing. These agencies can help you find permanent jobs, travel jobs, part-time, or per diem roles.

Why Following this Tip is Important:

This tip can be important for finding a job as a new nurse practitioner because while you search for your permanent or dream job, you can get some experience while making money.

These agencies know what they are doing. They are well-connected and will ask you a lot of questions to help you find what you are looking for. Sometimes healthcare organizations will make jobs available to an agency before posting them online. So, by utilizing staffing agencies you can get opportunities that you would not have access to on your own.

TIP #6: Use a recruiter

About the Tip:

Not unlike the previous tip, this one involves using outside experts to help you find a job. Sometimes you have recruiters that work with staffing agencies, so these tips may go hand in hand. You can use a recruiter that specializes in your NP field or use a generic one. They can help lead you to opportunities and will often get better at finding you opportunities the more they get to know you and what you are interested in.

Why Following this Tip is Important:

Using a recruiter can help take some of the stress out of the job search process. You tell them what you are looking for and they get to work. They often already have connections with healthcare organizations or human resources departments so they may be able to help push your foot through the door.

They have also been doing this as their career for a long time. So, you can consider them experts in this and they can provide feedback on your resume, salary expectations, and more. I would advise that you speak transparently with recruiters about what their fees are before engaging in any work with recruiters so that everything is transparent.

Additionally, be very clear with them on what you are looking for and what your qualifications are. In my experience, recruiters can be more generalized to healthcare profession recruitment overall, and they may need your guidance on NP scope of practice and what type of jobs you are interested in. For example, sometimes I receive emails from recruiters who are advertising OBGYN physician positions…which will not help me get a job.

TIP #7: Volunteer or do an internship

About the Tip:

I have spent quite a bit of my time volunteering for different roles to gain experience or do something I feel passionate about. While I think this is a great idea when you are trying to find a job as a new nurse practitioner, I would like to help you not make some of the mistakes I made.

I advise choosing ONE volunteer role or ONE internship. In the caregiving field, we can be quick to overextend our altruism and not appreciate that we should be fairly compensated for our expertise. It doesn't help that globally the nursing profession is often undervalued and underpaid. This fuels the idea that we do this for free and simply out of the goodness of our hearts. While our altruism may play into it, we still need to earn a living.

I spent quite a bit of my free time volunteering for different things. Some of this was out of interest, and others a combination of interest and feeling that I needed to gain experience before I was worth having my skills paid for. I realized a few years ago that my expertise is worth being compensated for. Once I started valuing my expertise, so did employers.

So, make sure when you volunteer or do an internship, you know your worth and don't undersell yourself. You just worked incredibly hard in NP school, and you are qualified to be paid for the care you provide. I now have one volunteer role doing forensic medical and psychiatric evaluations on asylum seekers and I love it. It does not take up too much of my time and I find it incredibly rewarding.

Why Following this Tip is Important:

Having a volunteer role will not only demonstrate your passion for the field but will also give you additional experience to boost your resume and help you grow your network of healthcare professionals. You can hone some of your NP skills while you continue to search for a paid position. Completing an internship can help you gain new skills while having some additional mentorship from experienced NPs.

Through volunteering or doing an internship you can also test out a particular field or subspeciality that you might be interested in.

TIP #8: Do your research

About the Tip:

If you want to find a job as a new nurse practitioner, you need to know your audience. This means doing your research. You can bet that prospective employers are looking you up before inviting you to an interview, you best do the same and research them before applying.

Why Following this Tip is Important:

This tip is key for several reasons. Firstly, it prevents you from applying for positions where you may not be a good match. I don't just mean experience-wise, but also values and work culture-wise.

For example, I almost applied for a global health NP position once with an organization that seemed right up my alley until I read the fine print. They were a Christian organization and wanted someone who shared their values and would participate in daily prayer. As I am not religious, this would have been a waste of my time and theirs. Healthcare organizations want people who will fit with their work culture and team.

Aside from this, being thorough in your research is key to tailoring your resume and cover letter to the position and the organization. Doing your research can also help you make a stellar impression during your interview…which brings us to our next tip.

TIP #9: Prepare for your interview

About the Tip:

Prepare for job interviews by completing the previous tip and getting that cover letter and resume printed. Know where you are going and how to get there well in advance. Dress professionally, avoid strong-smelling perfume or cologne, and take some deep breaths!

Why Following this Tip is Important:

Preparing for your interview cannot be underrated when it comes to finding a job as a new nurse practitioner. This is your chance to shine. You have gotten their attention with your application and now they are hoping that you will be the right fit. Remember, you are interviewing them too. You also want this to be a good fit for everyone.

Preparing is essential because it means that you can walk in and ace your interview. Not only is this the time to do mock interviews with family and friends and think of some common interview questions, but it is also the time to think about how you want to highlight your personality and values. Make sure you bring all the documentation you need (such as references and licenses) in case they ask for it.

You should also come up with some questions to ask them. This will show that you are thoughtful and interested in the organization. It will also make sure that you are considering your well-being by asking questions about continuing education opportunities and benefits.

One tip that my dad gave me that has stuck with me is to avoid wearing perfume or cologne. He interviews a lot of people and has told me that if the scent you wear subconsciously reminds the interviewers of a negative association (think about the potential implications if you wear the same perfume as an employer’s ex), it could affect their perception of you even if they are not aware.

So, make sure you shower and throw on deodorant, but let’s take it easy on the Chanel #5.

TIP #10: Follow up

About the Tip:

Your work is not done when you finish the interview. Just as important as showing up for the interview is following up with a thank you afterward. This can be a simple but grateful email.

Why Following this Tip is Important:

Following up after the interview helps the interviewers keep you at the top of their minds. This can help you find a job as a new nurse practitioner because it shows that you care about the position, and the organization, and know how to conduct yourself professionally. It shows the interviewers that you a grateful for the time they spent with you.

This thank you email should be sent 24-48 hours after the interview. This allows enough time for it to be a "reminder" of who you are without appearing overeager but also is likely not too late when you have missed the opportunity and they have already made their decision.

TIP #11: Be willing to move

About the Tip:

I live in a different country, and I just landed a part-time telehealth position as an NP in the US. I am not saying you need (or even should) move out of the country…in fact, don’t do that if you are trying to find a job as a new nurse practitioner. I can say confidently that leaving the country will hurt your chances.

You should consider moving within the country though. You have 50 states to choose from and within each state, there can be pockets where NPs are in high demand, so why limit yourself!?

Why Following this Tip is Important:

If you are struggling to find a position in your oversaturated city, then it may be time to consider moving to a location where the competition is less intense. Relocating to a new city or state can open new job opportunities, particularly in areas with high demand for healthcare professionals.

I know you have many things to consider such as partners, family, friends, cost of living, comfort, etc. With a little research though you will likely find that there are locations where you could have a fun new adventure, balanced with lifestyle things you value.

I considered a few different states when I was looking for an NP job. While I ended up staying in Massachusetts, even just opening my mind to other places helped alleviate some anxiety associated with job hunting because I knew I had options. I even received a job interview for a position in Atlanta, but I had just accepted one in Boston.

TIP #12: Work per diem

About the Tip:

Per diem work is when you work on an as-needed basis. Healthcare organizations often have some of these positions to fill gaps in their human resources where they do not necessarily need a full-time employee. You tend to have a lot of autonomy over your schedule with these roles because they will ask you to work at a certain time, and you simply agree or not.

Why Following this Tip is Important:

Per diem work can be an excellent way to earn some money and gain experience while you continue your job search. Often, since benefits are not included, the hourly or shift pay is higher. Additionally, you likely will not be working full time so you can still devote your spare time to hobbies and trying to find a job as a new nurse practitioner.

This is also a great way to hone your skills and network. You may become aware of full-time positions through your per diem role and you will already be networked with the organization, thus increasing your chances of getting it.

TIP #13: Don't pigeonhole yourself

About the Tip:

You might be set on a particular work setting or subspeciality area after doing your clinical rotations, but being so hyper-focused on one setting can be harmful. Avoid pigeonholing yourself by being open to other settings. I am not talking about locations here; we already did that. I mean if you are set on working at the urgent care clinic in your neighborhood or a specific burn unit at a major hospital, broaden your search.

Don’t miss a potentially great first opportunity because you have some idea in your head of where you want to be. Being an NP is a lifelong career, you are never stuck in one job. Some work settings may not be your first choice when it comes to where you want to work for your first NP job, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Be open to working in different settings, such as hospitals, clinics, or long-term care facilities, to increase your chances of finding a job as a new nurse practitioner.

Why Following this Tip is Important:

Remember, you are new and that means there are so many potentially great settings out there that you may not have experienced. Avoiding pigeon-holing yourself can increase your chances of finding a job as a new nurse practitioner because it can expand your job opportunities and provide you with valuable experience in different healthcare settings.

Remember, if you find a job as a new nurse practitioner and you do not feel that it is right for you, you can continue the search. You are not married to your job. In today's world, people are rarely staying in the same position for decades. Employers also know you are new and may want to grow. So go ahead and broaden your search and start earning money while you look for your dream NP job.


THING #1: Ask for feedback

Have you gotten your first rejection? Well, I don’t want to demoralize you, but this is part of the process and there are more to come in your life. Getting a rejection is a learning opportunity – don’t miss it.

Ask for feedback from the interviewers or people who reviewed your application. Tell them that you appreciate their time and would be grateful for them sharing feedback on what you could do differently as you are committed to your growth process. At the end of your request for feedback, thank them again for their time.

THING #2: Work part-time as a Registered Nurse

Don’t look at working part-time as an RN as a failure while you try to find a job as a new nurse practitioner. It is incredibly strategic. Firstly, it allows you to gain additional clinical experience and improve your skills, which is crucial for any NP role. Additionally, part-time work can help you to build professional relationships and network with other healthcare professionals.

Working part-time will give you more flexibility as you continue your search. This means you can attend those interviews you are lining up, do additional training, and attend networking events. Or maybe you are just a little burnt out after NP school and want to have some time and money to travel a bit before accepting a full-time position. By working part-time, you can alleviate some post-NP school financial stress and give yourself a bit of a break too.

THING #3: Go abroad!

If there is one thing I can recommend, it's going abroad. Whether you do this working as an NP or (like me) were burnt out and unsure of what you wanted with the next phase in your life, traveling can expand your horizons, and your skills, and leave you feeling rejuvenated and clear.

Worried about money? Welcome to the club. I spent a year backpacking after NP school. I worked part-time in hostels for free accommodation while researching advanced practice nursing in Chile. I learned how to make money on the side by freelance writing. When I left, I had enough money to travel for MAYBE 3 months. I ended up staying abroad for a year. When I came back, my improved Spanish skills are what helped me get my first NP job.

Maybe you’re thinking I come from money. While I am privileged in many ways, this is not the case. I am drowning in student debt like most Americans and remember picking out food at the food pantry as a kid. Not everyone will have the opportunities I have, I know this. However, my message to you is to live your life while you have the freedom to. Get creative. Going abroad opened so many doors for me with my NP career.

If you want to work as an NP abroad, a key thing to consider when going abroad though is whether the role of “NP” is recognized in the country where you will be working. It may be that you are limited to working as an RN unless you are working for a US organization abroad.


Were you wondering how to find a job as a new nurse practitioner? Well, you're not alone. I was there once too and you will get that first job, I promise. It can be a daunting task, but many effective strategies and tips can help in the process. With these 13 effective tips to find a job as a new nurse practitioner and get hired in 2023, you are on a sure pathway to success.

From engaging professional recruiters and staffing agencies, to preparing for your interview and going abroad there are many diverse options for you to find a job as a new nurse practitioner. It is important to keep an open mind, not be too hard on yourself, and take rejections as the learning opportunities that they are.

Don’t forget to take moments to pause and appreciate the process. One day you will be mentoring a new NP or writing articles for them and will look back fondly on these experiences.

Lauren Jacobson MS, RN, WHNP-BC
Lauren Jacobson is a registered nurse and women’s health nurse practitioner who is passionate about global health and gender-based violence prevention. She is Editor and an Advisory Board Member for the Global Nursing Caucus and volunteers with Physicians for Human Rights as a medical evaluator for asylum seekers.