An Exciting Career As a Nurse Practitioner

Join the demanding, rewarding, and high paying career in the health care field as a nurse-practitioner. Nurse-practitioners work independently of doctors and are responsible for all areas of patient care, yet don’t have the years of education and training required of physicians. They receive the same education and training a registered nurse does, but then further their education and obtain a master’s degree. Nurse-practitioners can perform many of the same functions and tasks as physicians, including writing out medical prescriptions. Registered nurses cannot.

Nurse-practitioners are in high demand, especially in areas that need experienced health care professionals but a physician is not available or not financially practical. Many clinics and hospitals hire nurse-practitioners. A plus for patients, nurse practitioners are readily available while you may have to wait weeks to see a physician because the of the physician’s patient load.

Nurse-practitioners see and treat variety of patient needs. They can treat mental and physical conditions, and patients of all ages. The job may include providing physical exams and well-child checks and immunizations, assisting physicians in minor procedures and surgeries, prenatal care services, diagnosing and treating chronic illnesses and diseases, prescribing medications and counseling patients.

Nurse practitioners can work in a number of healthcare facilities. They are found in community clinics, urgent care centers, hospitals, nursing homes, private medical practices and hospice care. Having the experience, compassion and bedside manner of a registered nurse gives an excellent vantage point to the nurse practitioner as far as seeing and treating patients. In patient care, they serve an important role. They have more training in personal skills like counseling and bedside manner than do physicians. This helps focus on patient-centered care-more about the patient and less about procedures.

To become a nurse practitioner you first need to become a certified registered nurse. This is usually done through a bachelor’s program at a college or university. Then you will need to complete a Master’s of Science Degree in nursing. This is typically a two year program that expands on treatment and management of patient care. Courses of study will include advanced anatomy, medical ethics and law, diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses and ailments, and pharmacology. These will enhance the education and experience of a registered nurse.

During the master’s degree program, you will choose a specialty such as gynecology, pediatrics, cardiology, family practice, or mental health. This will focus and apply your studies to the field that you are most interested in. Graduate students will spend a lot working with doctors and experienced nurse practitioners in the hospital or medical clinic setting gaining valuable real-life experience.

After you complete the master’s degree program, you must take and pass a state licensing exam to become a licensed nurse practitioner. There are also national certifications and accreditation you may receive to go with your state certificate.

The profession of nurse practitioner was created in 1965 when the creation of Medicare brought a need for primary-care providers. In the healthcare world today, where the focus is shifting on prevention and wellness, but physicians are not choosing to be primary care providers, nurse practitioners are filling in the gap.

Average Nurse Practitioner Salaries

The medical field is a vast and diverse one filled with many different career opportunities. What most people tend to assume is that medicine equals doctors, surgeons and dentist. But this is where they are wrong, nurse practitioners play a huge role in hospitals and clinics and don’t work on a minimum wage but actually make real money. Shocked? Keep reading and find out more.

What many people don’t know is that this occupation actually is a diverse field and has many different sectors for one to specialize in. Once could earn anything between 72,000 to $100,000 on an annual basis but then again, the figure worth of your job varies according to state, institute and education. Also, as experience increases, so would your salary. Besides that, salaries also vary depending on the sector one chooses to specialize in.

The average salary of a NP geriatric is $ 93,000 per year while psychiatric NP earn $72, 000. Right around the corner to those figures would be $81,000 earned by family NP and $99,000 earned by acute care NP. This is also followed by NP physicians assistant making about $78,000 with neonatal nurses who make $97,000. The lowest earning category would be NP physician class A who only make $44,000 and the highest earning categories are critical care nurse which would yield about $113,000, correctional faculty nurse who get a figure of $119,000 and NP dermatology who make a grand sum of $114,000.

Of course, as mentioned before all these figures vary with experience, state and qualification. All in all, being a nurse practitioner is not as limited or restricted as you may have thought. So change your views and if interested, get enrolled into an institute today and earn your license to make figures that give you a privileged life.

Nurse Practitioners’ Versatility Earns Them One of the Highest Salaries in the Nursing Profession

The problem with inaccessible health care for children was addressed by the University of Colorado’s Nurse Practitioner program in 1965. This was the first ever program and it paved the way for career opportunities for nurses and health care advantages for patients. Nurse practitioners, because of the level of knowledge and skill they have acquired, are given more authority and autonomy in clinical settings. Their job satisfaction does not only end there; they are also one of the highest paid nurse professionals. The demand for their expertise increases as the number of physicians entering the family practice field decreases.

They cover a wide range of duties, including those that were only limited to physicians before. Some of their responsibilities include giving physical examinations, diagnostic tests and treatment, evaluating tests and providing prescriptions.

A nurse practitioner has two very important duties to communities; these are educating and promoting to the people the significance of living a clean and healthy lifestyle. As they work in communities, they work closely with the people and establish a relationship that pushes their goals towards success.

Their duties are numerous and various. The most important ones are the following:

1) Provide assessment of medical records of patients to determine the kind of physical examination and preventive screening tests necessary to be taken.

2) Give diagnosis and evaluation

3) Prepare nursing care plan

They may also work on one specialization of nursing. These are some popular choices for specialization:

1) Neonatal nursing looks into the assessment, diagnosis and management of care for newborns with health complications.

2) The Nurse Midwife or OB/GYN Nursing see into the care of pregnant women such as prenatal care, and safe delivery of babies.

3) Geronotogical nursing specializes in elder adult care – long term care for chronic diseases in hospital or community settings.

4) Pediatrics nursing focuses on providing care for infants, children and young adult.

5) Family nursing sees to the primary health care of individuals regardless of age.

6) Anaesthesiology nursing mainly ensures the safe and proper administration of anesthesia to patients.

7) Other specializations- endocrinology, cardiology, neurology, pulmonolgy, gastroenterology, nephrology.

Nurse practitioners will never want for jobs as the demand for their services in hospitals, long term care facilities and government agencies increases given the shortage of physicians. More people turn to them for primary care because they are capable of doing most things a physician can do and their education comes relatively cheaper. Nurse practitioners skills and knowledge makes them one of the best paid nurses in the field; they receive between $70,000 to $120,000 annual salaries, depending on factors such as location and specialization.

What Being a Nurse Practitioner Means

Providing professional care to patients is the ultimate calling of a nurse practitioner. Not just for good compensation and other benefits, many individuals aspire to become a nurse practitioner because of the noble job of serving others. An NP can specialize on women’s health care, neonatal health care, pediatric health care, family health care, geriatric health care, acute care, and other medical care expertise.

What Does an NP Do?

Covering the above-mentioned specializations, nurse practitioners come next after the doctor’s level of responsibilities in the hospital. They are above registered nurses in terms of training and experiences acquired in the field. Generally, NPs are the ones responsible in the initial communication with the patients, securing patient’s records and personal information, conducting physical examinations, ordering diagnostic tests, and diagnose acute and chronic illnesses.

Nurse practitioners generally work at hospitals or in the doctor’s clinic. They can also be found in offices working as a company nurse, in private residences, or schools as a clinical instructor on nursing students.

Challenges at Work

Like any other field of profession, nurse practitioners face many working dynamics. There are different work conditions on different patient care specialties that a nurse practitioner must cope with. Along with that, being the doctor’s first line of defense gives them the responsibility in dealing with complaints and other inquiries. Stress is also unavoidable especially when dealing with hardheaded patients and family members.

Becoming an NP

Aspiring nurse practitioners must acquire a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Many community colleges and universities offer nursing programs with flexible time to accommodate the number of applicants. There are also ladderized programs that give eligibility for practical nurses to work after a year or two of training while enabling them to continue their bachelor’s degree.

Upon graduating from a nursing school, BSN graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN so they can work right ahead. To become an NP, one must take a master’s degree or additional training and another state licensure for NPs. This gives them the aptness to work on medical institutions.

Career Advancement

As a nurse practitioner continues to take advance studies on health care, career growth is easily within reach. NPs have more opportunities to get promoted because of the training background it possesses. With this, salary compensation also gets better with higher position. Generally, an NP earns within the range of about $75,838 to about $89,392 a year. However, the rate varies per state and the load of responsibilities an NP handles.

How to Outdo Your Competitors When You’re Looking For a Family Nurse Practitioner Job

As we all known, family nurse practitioners are health care professions who have been trained to provide a range of health care services to their targeted patients – all the family members, inclusive of the young and the elderly. The demand for this practitioner is expected to grow significantly in the next 5-10 years.

Surely with the overwhelming demand for this medical professions in the US society, we can confidently anticipate that universities and colleges will start to introduce a series of degree / master programs majoring in Nurse practitioner and specializing in multiple different settings and areas. At the same time, new graduates from this field are likely to face a lot of new challenges. Potential candidates will have to compete among themselves for the practitioner role in a certain setting.

The better the skill-sets in this professions that one tend to possess, the more likely that she will competitively out-weigh the rest of her peers to win over this job. Therefore, a lot of these programs have combined both didactic and clinical learning and experience. Through these programs, one gets to learn diagnosis testing and treatment of common illness, rendering of physical examination, health screening, disease prevention and treatment. Intensive practice and advanced skills usually become actualized after some good years of hard work and on the job training.

Of late, the requirement as a family nurse practitioner has become more stringent for the students must at least completed a Master of Science in Nursing degree program with courses in family nursing, women health, health care policies, child health, pathophysiology, health assessment and many more. These nursing programs will need to be accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission for validity. Getting yourself into the Nursing degree program offered by one of the most renowned University is definitely an added benefits because of its great reputation, strong financial and management background.

Last but not least, the level of exposure and experience is one of the most crucial criteria in out-doing your competitors in winning over any of the nurse practitioner job. You can also participate in any of the community service program by volunteering yourself to assist in different settings in order to get a better insights of these real working places, and of course most critically is to get yourself acquainted with the real life of a nurse practitioner.