Nurse Practitioner Programs

If you are a Registered Nurse looking to advance your career to a higher level, you should definitely look into nurse practitioner programs to see if this educational choice is right for you. A nurse practitioner is basically a RN who has returned to college to complete a master of science in nursing or a doctoral degree in a nursing specialization. The NP has a higher level of training and skill regarding more complex medical conditions, diagnoses and treatment plans, and may even stand in for a doctor in some situations.

A Brief History of Nursing Practitioning

Nurse Practitioners first appeared on the scene in the 1960s due to a shortage of qualified physicians in the United States, especially in lower income neighborhoods. Nurses began opening up clinics to treat basic conditions, diseases and illnesses. These nurses could prescribe pharmaceutical medicine, and they were able to perform physical exams and access the patients’ medical histories to devise treatment plans.

Nurse Practitioners most commonly provide family planning services, prenatal care and well-child care, including immunizations. Every state has different regulations about what NP’s can and can’t do within the scope of their practice. There are also different requirements in each state regarding what NP’s must do in order to become licensed to practice within this medical profession.

Nurse Practitioner Programs

Regardless of what state you live in, you must first have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and passed the examinations to become a Registered Nurse before you can begin training to become a Nurse Practitioner. Many nurses also gain some professional experience in the field before they return to school for the advanced training of a Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. After completing all the requirements and receiving one of these nursing graduate degrees, you will need to take a board examination that is conducted either by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

There are many different types of graduate degree programs that you can choose from to become a Nurse Practitioner. You may return to the same college where you got your Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or you may choose a different university. There are also technical colleges that offer NP training programs, as well as online colleges. Just make sure that the school is accredited and that the program works with your lifestyle; you’ll be well on your way.

Nursing Careers – Family Nurse Practitioner

Nurses vary greatly in terms of the amount of education they have and what kind of treatment they are able to offer their patients. The highest nurse in the nursing food chain is the nurse practitioner, sometimes called NP. Unlike other nurses, NPs can prescribe and adjust their patients medications, and can perform a wider array of lab tests. In other words, short of surgery or specialized medicine, a nurse practitioner can do many of the same things that a doctor can do.

A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is a nurse practitioner who specializes in general family medicine, and FNPs are often the sole health care provider in many small towns and rural areas in the United States. Through routine screenings and checkups, if the FNP finds something in a patient that requires a specialist, he or she can easily refer the patient to an MD. But run-of-the-mill health problems, as well as health education and preventative health, can be handled by the nurse practitioner in his or her office.

Family nurse practitioners work in numerous settings, including clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. Many have their own private practices, especially in small town areas. In these small towns, much of an FNPs work focuses on preventative medicine and education, trying to teach patients to make healthy lifestyle choices or lifestyle changes in order to prevent disease.

Requirements for Becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner

Family nurse practitioners require a master’s degree in nursing, or MSN. Some nurse practitioners are RNs who take post-baccalaureate work to become an NP. Generally, nurse practitioners must complete at least five to six years of higher education. Four of these years will be spent completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and one or two additional years for completing either post-baccalaureate degrees or master’s degrees. Like all nurses, once NPs gain their degrees, they must pass a board exam.

Almost all nurse practitioner programs require that their candidates have spent time working as an RN first, usually at least for one to two years. Most MSN programs also generally prefer nurses who completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing, rather than an associate’s degree.

Becoming a nurse practitioner can be quite costly: $20 – $27,000 for a bachelor’s degree and an additional $15 – $20,000 for a master’s degree is about average.

Job Prospects for FNPs

However, all this education does eventually provide a significant return on investment; family nurse practitioners are some of the best-paid nurses in the field. An average FNP earns $70 – $80,000 per year, and some FNPs earn six figure incomes. By comparison, a highly skilled RN earns around $65,000 per year.

As with most other fields of nursing, family nurse practitioners are in high demand. At least for the time being, the job prospects for FNPs are very good.

Does Anyone Know What It Means to Be a Nurse Practitioner?

The main and the primary point of being a Nurse Practitioner is to provide care to patients who are suffering from some type of ailment. In fact, that’s practically the responsibility of every health care worker. These jobs are meant for the passionate men and women who aren’t just working for the paycheck and the benefits, there are many people who actually have passion and do this because they get a proud and fulfilling feeling to help those who are suffering. Its noble. A practitioner can decide to specialize in women’s health care, neonatal health care, pediatric health care, family health care, geriatric health care, acute adult care, and there are many other specialties but these are the most common that are chosen.

Personally, I wondered for a long time what is it exactly that practitioners do. To be honest, I often confused practitioners with actual doctors, but it turns out that there is a huge difference between the two. NPs come second to doctors concerning their duties and tasks while in health care institutions. They have a higher level of education and training than Registered Nurses, and generally they are the ones who are given the responsibility of talking to patients directly, securing the medical histories of patients and their personal information. They administer physical exams to patients, they have the authority to order diagnostic tests, and they have the ability to diagnose and treat acute and chronic illnesses and diseases.

You can often find a Nurse Practitioner working in a hospital or a clinic, but they also work in their own private practices, for companies, or at schools and colleges as a clinical professor for nursing students. A practitioner will most definitely face some challenges at their job will test their knowledge and their skills with people. For each and every specialty there is for a NP, there are different working conditions and environments. For example, pediatric practitioners will deal a lot with young people, and oncology practitioners will deal a lot with patients who have cancer or another disease.

Practitioners are going to deal with patient complaints and questions, and to be honest just dealing with people could stress you out but if you love what you do you’ll learn how to handle it as you gain experience. It’s a fulfilling and rewarding career that will test you, what job doesn’t do that?

To become a Nurse Practitioner, first thing you want to do is get a Bachelors degree in Nursing. You can get this at a community college or university that offers nursing programs. After you get your bachelors degree, you have to pass the national council licensure exams so you can work as a RN. After you have your license to work as an RN, the next step is to get your Master’s degree in Nursing, some years of experience as an RN, and you have to pass your state licensure so that you can work in your state as an NP. It’s a great career.

How to Become a Family Nursing Practitioner

Many nurses who pursue careers in advanced nursing do so out of a desire to obtain the autonomy that can come with becoming an advanced practice nurse. One of the best ways to achieve that goal is to become a family nurse practitioner, or FNP. FNPs typically work in clinical settings or private physicians’ offices, and use their training in those environments to provide a range of health care services to patients suffering from all manner of injuries and ailments. In many cases, these nursing professionals provide services that are all but indistinguishable from the care provided by physicians.

The role of a family nursing practitioner entails performing a variety of tests, diagnosis, and procedures, as well as providing education and counseling to the patients they serve. While much of their work is devoted to encouraging the prevention of diseases and other health conditions through a focus on wellness, they are also trained to recognize and treat some of the most serious conditions affecting patients in their care. Most family practitioners provide general care to any type of patients, though some do choose to specialize in the treatment of certain groups and specific conditions.

The path to becoming a family nurse practitioner involves the standard registered nursing degree, as well as additional education to achieve a master’s degree. The additional training allows these nurses to earn the advanced practice title and begin to work more independently. Family nursing practitioner is but one specialized focus within the broader category of advanced practice nursing, and like other forms of specialization, requires a Master of Science degree in nursing, as well as state board certification and any other requirements an individual state may choose to impose.

Family nursing practitioners work in many different settings, which make it an extremely flexible career choice for any nurse. In fact, it is that flexibility – combined with the ability to act relatively autonomously – that makes a career as an FNP so attractive. These nurses can be found in many clinical environments, as well as schools, hospice settings, private physicians’ offices, and patient homes. They also fill critical niches within the nursing industry, including serving as administrators and policy makers within hospitals and clinics, and providing education to both patients and staff alike.

For anyone seeking a career in nursing that offers self-management and flexible opportunities, working as a family nursing practitioner provides those opportunities and more. Many family nurses have the opportunity to work with the same patients and their families on a long-term basis, enabling them to directly impact their patients’ health care in ways that many nurses cannot.

With salaries that can be as much as $20,000 higher than the average registered nurse receives, a career as an FNP is also one of the more financially satisfying nursing career paths. Perhaps even more critical is the fact that the demand for nurses and doctors is only going to increase over the coming decades. It is only natural that more and more of our health care services will be provided by these nursing professionals as time goes by.

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.