Being a Nurse Practitioner – Is it For You?

If you are compassionate, caring, like to work with people to improve their lives, then you might want to consider being a nurse practitioner (NP). Besides the high income offered, it also provides you with the opportunity to help people in need. Read on to find out if being an NP is the right career for you.

To be able to achieve this position, you are required to attain a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and engage in hands-on practical sessions. This is to build your foundation on nursing. Afterward, you need to determine which area of specialization that you want to pursue when you become an NP. Some of the areas that you can consider are pediatric nursing, family nursing, occupational health nursing and neonatal nursing, among others. After that, you need to obtain a master’s degree in the area of specialization that you have chosen. You would also need to sit for a licensing exam to acquire your license to be a nurse practitioner. It might seem like a long way to go, but if you are really determined, it would all be worth it in the end.

Depending on the state where you are working, you might only be allowed to practice with a doctor licensed by the same state. However, in some states, you would be permitted to practice on your own. This would mean that you do not need a doctor to be involved in treating your patients.

Being an NP is more than doing a normal nurse’s jobs. While nurses only follow doctor’s direction, an NP would be diagnosing and treating the illness. An NP would also determine the best course of treatment and prescribe medicine. Most importantly, an NP is there to provide individual care for patients.

So if you think that you are up for this challenge and want to make a difference in someone’s life, then start planning to become a nurse practitioner. It is indeed a rewarding career for those who are willing to work hard at it.

Becoming A Nurse Practitioner

Becoming a nurse practitioner is a good choice of career. Demand for healthcare professionals in the United States continues to grow. Besides being a noble job, as a nurse practitioner you get paid a nice salary. It is possible to earn a good salary in this medical field which requires a lot of training and is one of the most cherished jobs from a religious perspective too. The job of a nurse brings many blessings. After all you work hard to serve mankind and that’s the most uplifting work one can do in this world.

If you have decided to become a nurse practitioner then you must be prepared to work in shifts evening or night, do some overtime and even sometimes you have to work on weekends, go to hospital on calls at odd hours, take care of patients at home and other kinds of requirement that may arise. Thus the job of a nurse demands a lot of energy and patience.

Now the question is what procedures are required to becoming a nurse practitioner? Well to become a registered NP, you must first be a registered nurse and then you must get a Master’s degree in nursing from any of the accredited nursing schools around. According to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners it’s very essential to get degrees from accredited schools so that you don’t face any unnecessary hassle when you apply for jobs.

Sometimes the certificates in certain states require recommendations by state licensing boards. A registered nurse practitioner can also get specialized degrees like adult NPs, pediatric NPs, psychiatric NPs, family NPs, acute care NPs, certified nurse midwives, geriatric NPs, acute care NPs, palliative care NPs, occupational Health NPs, and certified registered nurse anesthetists.

Today to become a registered nurse practitioner has become quite easy with online programs. There are many online schools which offer online degrees that can help in becoming a nurse practitioner. One of factors which attracts lots of young people to this profession is the lucrative salary and other benefits like bonus, life insurance coverage, disability insurances and others.

The salaries of nurse practitioners depends a lot on different factors. It varies due to experience, qualification, geographical location and other places. The average salary of an experienced registered nurse practitioner varies between $80,000 to $95,000. These figures don’t include the bonuses, overtime pay and other benefits.

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.

Learn More

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.