Day in the Life of A Nurse Practitioner

I don’t know why but I am always so fascinated by day in the life videos on the internet. It’s a good glimpse of how certain professions’ work day look like. I personally love making them on Youtube

Here is what my day in the life is as a specialty NP in Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine.

Location: a big city in Central California

Type of Practice: Specialty Clinic (Pulmonary) 

Schedule: Mon-Thurs (10 hour shifts)

Morning Session

Getting ready

7:30-8:00am – Initially, I always arrive 20-30 mins early before my first patient appointment of the day. Since having a baby, this changed. Lack of sleep and having to drop off my daughter at her grandparents’ house some days, I typically get to the clinic around 7:50 am to kind of go over my schedule for the day. I review my patient’s charts the night before so I have an idea of how busy my day would be. I look over labs, pulmonary function tests & sleep study results, medication lists, previous notes etc. At this time, I already drank my coffee. I clean my desk and get ready for the day.  

See patients

8:00am-1130am – For the next several hours, I see patients. I  see 2-3 patients per hour depending if they’re a new or established patient. Most of the time, my morning session is busier than my afternoon one. After every patient, if I am not able to close/finish up the chart, I make sure that I order or send in the prescription that they need. If I am very busy, I do all my charts at the end of the day. 

My typical patients are those with: Asthma, COPD, ILD, Sleep Apnea, Pneumonia, Valley Fever, latent TB, Pulmonary Nodules 

 Break time

12:00-1:00pm – Lunchtime! Some days, I don’t get to eat lunch or I chart WHILE I eat lunch. I really encourage new and seasoned NPs to really take their break. I know sometimes we forget to do it because of all the admin lists we have to accomplish ~ but trust me, it will help you perform better. 

Afternoon Session

Seeing patients (part II)

1:00-6:00pm – More patients. When I don’t have much patients scheduled in the afternoon, I get the on-call phone for the covid vaccine clinic. We have been setting up clinics in rural areas and high schools around town, and they usually have me cover these mobile clinics. 

Finishing up the day

6:00-7:00pm – Time to close out all of the charts and put in the correct billing codes. I also go over my medication refills, radiology result reviews and lab reviews. I head home and spend time with my family. I rarely almost never bring home any of my work. 


  • My patients are mostly stable, but needs a lot of education about preventative care
  • I have 3 attending physicians I work with whom I consult for complex patients
  • Some days, I work in the hospital and round with residents in the pulmonary service (this could be another DITL)
  • I love that I get to focus on diseases pertaining mostly TO respiratory conditions 

I really love working in Pulmonary/Sleep Medicine.  Each day of course is different depending on patient acuity but for the most part, the day would be predictable. Patients are scheduled and I rarely accept walk-in patients. 

I’d love to hear from you – comment below if this schedule is something you look forward to as a NP.

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