Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners

What Does a Registered Nurse Do? RN’s don’t usually have weak stomachs. Deliver medical treatment and care to patients, registered nurses work under the supervision of doctors. The majority find jobs in hospital settings, but other work environments include outpatient clinics, nursing and rehabilitation centers, physicians’ offices, schools and prisons.

Online Degrees for Registered Nurses

Registered nurses must pass a licensing exam after completing a diploma program, associate degree or BSN degree. A MSN degree provides the opportunity to specialize as an advanced practical nurse (APN).

Registered Nursing Training

RNs should be able to think fast on their feet, show compassion and possess excellent communication skills.RNs perform a variety of duties, including the following:

  • Carrying out diagnostic tests
  • Recording medical histories and symptoms
  • Explaining procedures and treatments
  • Offering emotional support to patients and their families

Overall, registered nurses should see excellent job growth through 2016 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who have BSN degrees will have especially good opportunities.

What Does a Nurse Practitioner Do? A nurse practitioner can perform many of the tasks that doctors do, including analyzing test results to make a diagnosis and prescribing treatment programs and medications. These highly trained professionals are found in doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals and nursing homes. Some nurse practitioners treat a variety of patients, while others choose a specialty such as women’s care or pediatrics.

Online Degrees for Nurse Practitioners

Most nurse practitioners begin with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and become licensed in the state in which they work. To become a NP, you must pursue a master’s degree in nursing and spend time gaining practical nursing experience. At that point, they becomes eligible for a nurse practitioner program, and some will choose to obtain certification in an area of specialty as well.

Nurse Practitioner Training

They usually gain plenty of practical nursing experience before finishing their master’s degree. Gaining experience in any of the following areas could help pave the way to a successful career:

  • Working in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital
  • Recording patient health histories
  • Counseling patients on specific treatments
  • Working in the specialty area chosen

The job outlook remains good for nursing positions of all kinds. Some hospitals have trouble staffing a sufficient number of nurses and may offer hiring incentives to qualified candidates. The job of a nurse practitioner requires a great deal of education and experience, but available positions are plentiful and the rewards of the job are great.

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Nurse Practitioner – Job Functions and Responsibilities

Job Description

A nurse practitioner is responsible for attending patient calls and they are supposed to help and make the patients feel at ease by consoling them and being empathetic to them. The practitioners are responsible for collecting the family history of the patients, conducting physical exams and diagnosing acute and chronic illnesses. Practitioners job functions would largely depend on the institutions they work and in some cases they may perform baby checkups or provide prenatal care as well.

Although they are not trained to conduct the responsibilities of a doctor, they work with doctors and registered nurses as a single unit to ensure a well coordinated effort.

Qualification and Training Requirements

A nurse practitioner should have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and should have a nurse’s license to commence practice. Additional training and master’s degree would help them locate more rewarding jobs and postings. The eligible candidates are also required to pass a licensing exam to work as a practitioner in the individual’s home state.

Prior experience of working in a hospital or physician’s office will help you to get hired easily. Licensed nurse practitioners are always in demand and they also enjoy ample promotional scopes and other sops as well.

Career Development and Job Prospects

Health care industry offers a robust medium for job growth and this is one such industry that has continued to grow even during the worst recession times. An experienced practitioner is an asset to the organization and gets hired by big hospitals and health care institutions. Well experienced nurse practitioners can move up the career graph quickly as they not just possess the ability to diagnose and treat patient conditions, they have a background in nursing as well, which makes it a win- win situation for both the employer and the employees. Well qualified nurse practitioners are often touted as the backbones of a successful medical institution.

Salary Package

The median salary range for a nurse practitioner is about $82,590 a year plus other benefits as per their work settings.

Nursing Careers – Becoming a Family Nursing Practitioner

If you find fulfillment in building long-term relationships with patients to the point that you personally know their kids or their other relatives by name and you exchange urbane scrubs free shipping gifts on holidays and maybe invite each other during birthdays and other special occasions, then being a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) may just be the right specialization for you. FNPs or simply, family nurses, enjoy a rich and varied work environment, opportunities for personal growth, and not to mention, very competitive salaries. Also, the demand for family nurse practitioners is expected to increase quite significantly for the next ten years.

Requirements for becoming a family nurse

To become a family nurse practitioner, you need to take up further studies on top of being a registered nurse, typically a Master’s in Science degree, which takes about one to two years; after which you will have to pass a state board of national certification exam. Agencies that offer certification include the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

The role of the family nurse

The family nurse specializes in family medicine and provides a wide range of patient care to different groups of patients, focusing on disease prevention and health promotion beginning in childhood and continues all throughout adulthood, being a witness to an individual’s aging process. The family nurse performs many duties that are commonly performed only by physicians and cares for a patient through the cycle of family life. The family nurse also provides specialty care such as perinatal and gynecological care, as well as a broad range of care services and is trained to diagnose and build treatment plans for chronic and acute diseases. He or she may prescribe interventions through physical exams, interviews, and diagnostic and lab testing, as well as prescribe medications and treatments to patients. Counseling and providing education are also part of the job.

Typical career path for FNPs

Before they became family nurse practitioners, a lot of FNPs practiced as RNs (registered nurses) as nursing staff in hospitals or other medical facilities. They usually go back to school after some years of experience and earn their master’s degree to become an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN). APN have advanced training and commonly deliver some medical services that are reserved only for physicians.

Work settings

One of the best perks about becoming a family nurse is being able to work in flexible and autonomous settings; unlike registered nurses family nurses can be their own boss. Family nurses can work in a wide variety of settings including private offices, nurse-managed healthcare centers, hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospice centers, clinics, schools, homes, and community-based settings. There are various specific roles that FNPs can take including patient and staff educator, case manager, researcher, policy-maker, and administrator.

Typical salaries

Nurse practitioners in general get paid better than registered nurses. On average they make $20,000 more per year than the base salaries of RNs across the country. Because family nurses can manage their own practice, they can increase their income substantially with a bit of entrepreneurial savvy.

Moving On To Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

If you are currently working in the health field as a practical nurse or registered nurse, then you know first-hand how short-staff your working profession is and how advancing in your career by taking online nurse practitioner programs will be rewarding. The advancement to nurse practitioner is a rising demand in the health profession worldwide.

In order to advance to a nurse practitioner you will be required to complete either a Master’s degree or a Doctoral degree. With extensive training and preparation through additional education you will be ready to accept the responsibilities that come with the nursing practice over those of a traditional registered nurse. No matter which online nurse practitioner program you choose, continuing your education could take years to achieve, depending on the level that you start at. Most states consider the Master’s degree a qualified level of education to achieve a nurse practitioner’s position. By 2015, the requirement of the American Association of College Nursing may change that to a Doctoral degree. Although this is a lot of schooling and cost, the achievement of becoming a nurse practitioner will be the end result of all your hard work and accomplishing that will be extremely rewarding.

By becoming an (APRN) Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, you can become a patient’s primary provider in health care. This will give you the ability to treat both physical and mental conditions. You will be able to order and interpret important lab and radiology tests, complete physical exams and also patient histories which is very important in the diagnosing process. In addition to treatment you will also be able to prescribe medications to your patient’s. However, this will be under the supervision of a doctor. After completing one of the online nursing practitioner programs you will be well prepared for these added responsibilities.

One difference of becoming a nurse practitioner is the responsibility of educating your patients on the disease and recovery process that may be affecting them. Educating your patients on their health and wellness is a very important part of daily routine. If you are interested in teaching then there is plenty of opportunity to educate others in making the right decisions and to prevent future incidences. One of the requirements is to be certified or licensed in a particular specialty such as family practice, pediatrics, women’s health, acute care, adult practice etc. As you complete the online nurse practitioners program there will be required training to help you certify in any of these areas.

When doing research for the program of your choice, make sure that they are accredited and recognized by the Board of Nursing in your state. Licensing or certification is dependent on the type of accreditation that school holds. Once you have completed all of your requirements then you will be available to take the licensing exam to finish your degree. If you have achieved your prior degrees online then you will be happy to know that the online nurse practitioner programs available are very easily enrolled in. This will ensure your success and continue the convenience of flexible schooling available. This is just one of the many ways to help you on your journey toward a great career in the nursing profession.

Guide To Become A Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a nurse who is more advanced than a registered nurse (RN). Thus someone who plans to become a nurse practitioner must earn his or her registered nurse credentials first. NPs are expected to provide better health care and they usually specialize in certain areas like gerontology or family practice. There are many paths to becoming an RN, hence the amount of time it takes to become an NP may vary too. However, an entry-level student usually earns his or her NP credentials in six years.

A nurse practitioner is sometimes called an advanced practice nurse (APN). He or she often performs tasks outside the realms of a registered nurse such as performing diagnostic tests, prescribing medication, and treating chronic illnesses. As you may notice, these tasks are commonly performed by physicians. In addition, NPs are often involved in some other areas like health counseling, disease prevention, and patient advocacy.

As mentioned previously, an NP must first become a licensed registered nurse and earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An RN license can be obtained before pursuing a BSN or the two of them can be obtained at the same time. Licensing practices vary between states so that students familiarize themselves with the requirements in their own state.

There are actually some programs that enable students to become a nurse practitioner without first earning their registered nurse credentials but these are rare. Normally, it takes around four years to complete a BSN program. Accelerated programs are available for those who want to earn their BSN in a shorter time.

Once a student has obtained his or her BSN, he or she must earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and pass the state’s licensing exam. It normally takes two years to complete an MSN program and it combines hands-on and classroom instruction. During the MSN program, a student is usually asked to choose a specialization such as family medicine, obstetrics or pediatrics.

As mentioned earlier, the time it takes for someone to become a nurse practitioner varies greatly. Both BSN and RN can be obtained within four years whereas the MSN can be obtained in two years. If a student plans to have practical experience as a registered nurse before earning a higher degree, the whole process can take eight years or longer.

An NP is allowed to take specialization in one of these medical fields: mental health, midwifery, gerontology, anesthesia, and more. Once an NP has taken a specialization, he or she will be asked to take national certification exams according to their specialty. Nurse practitioners who wish to pursue further education have the option to do a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.