A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has the advanced educational training to offer comprehensive health and well-being care to their patient that is comparable to the duties and responsibilities of a physician. A nurse practitioner acts as a primary care giver to their patients and is responsible for the management of their overall health care. Nurse practitioners duties include performing physical examinations, diagnosing and treating illnesses and prescribing medications.
Before pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner, candidates are required to spend a few years working as a registered nurse to gain some insight and experience on handling the stress that comes with working in the medical profession. A nurse practitioner works in a very fast paced environment, and their job involves making critical decisions about providing the best possible care to their patients.
Nurse Practitioner Schools By State
A nurse practitioner works in many different types of medical facilities. They may work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, doctors’ offices and at schools and other educational institutions. Being a nurse practitioner is a highly-valued and well-respected profession. A nurse practitioner must possess some of the same characteristics and qualities as a doctor. They should be compassionate, show empathy and have a sympathetic and caring personality. These appealing qualities will enable a nurse practitioner to build a rapport with their patients to educate them about using preventive measures to stay healthy.
In the medical industry, the field of nursing has the largest number of jobs in heath care. The American Nurses Association projects that between 60 to 80 percent of primary health care prevention could be performed by a nurse practitioner. This makes the employment of nurse practitioners very cost effective for the medical profession. Nurse practitioners advocates preventive care and educating the patients about living a healthy lifestyle as a way to make the cost of health care less expensive.
Due to the rapid growth of HMO’s and wellness clinics and a shortage of physicians to staff those clinics, opportunities continues to expand for nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners have the authority to prescribe medication in all 50 states and can treat patients independently of a doctor’s supervision in 25 states. When a nurse practitioner wants a change of pace from a regular staff job, they can teach at colleges and universities or work performing medical research. Also, a job as a nurse practitioner can be a stepping stone to pursing a career as a medical doctor.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Requirements to become a nurse practitioner
A rewarding and gratifying career is an incentive for registered nurses who want to become a nurse practitioner. Registered nurses with aspirations of being a nurse practitioner must obtain a master degree in nursing. To become a nurse practitioner, candidates must fulfill the requirements necessary to be a registered nurse. They must have an associate degree or a bachelor degree in nursing. Community and Junior colleges offers associate degrees in nursing which can be completed in 2-3 years. A bachelor’s degree in nursing may take 4-5 years at an accredited college or university to obtain a degree.
Usually, nurse practitioners choose a specialized field of medicine to work in before pursuing a degree. Some of the specialty fields available to a nurse practitioner are family medicine, acute care, mental health, ob/gynecology and pediatrics. After completing a master degree program, students are required to take an examination to fulfill state licensure and certification requirements. This exam is offered by the American Academy of Nurse practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center Certification. To work in a specialized field, a nurse practitioner must pass an examination for specialty certification.
How to choose a good school?
The general population is growing older and people are living a much longer life. A nurse practitioner is a career that is in very high demand, and the need for quality medical care is growing very rapidly. Many colleges and universities offer nurse practitioners degree programs that are flexible and designed to meet the demands of students who have very busy schedules. To begin your career as a nurse practitioner, you must choose an accredited school to earn your degree. You can download the manual provided by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission to help you find a school to attend in your area. There are many colleges and universities that offer an excellent degree program for students seeking a career to become a nurse practitioner. Additionally, there are many online schools that offers accredited nurse practitioner degree programs.
In the 1970’s, due to the prediction of a severe shortage of physicians, increased funding was made available for nurse practitioners seeking degrees. Registered nurses working on staff can take advantage of tuition reimbursements to attend school. To obtain a degree, a nurse practitioner must complete an accredited nursing degree program and perform some form of clinical training. A career as a nurse practitioner is very rewarding and offers an increase in responsibility and a higher level of income. There is a wide range of employment opportunities available to a nurse practitioner. According to data provided by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the average salary for a nurse practitioner is $84,250. It is a widely held belief in the medical industry that nurse practitioners are the answer to the shortage of physicians in the medical field.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/