To Become a Nurse Practitioner

If one is looking for a rewarding career path, he/she can pursue a degree, and turn out to be an advanced nurse practitioner. A practitioner is an advanced practice nurse who is qualified to act as a specialty care or a primary care provider. Also known as nursing practitioner or NP, nurse practitioner can perform both health care and nursing services. Advanced practitioners can diagnose as well as practice medications and can treat a wide range of diseases.

With regard to career paths for advanced practitioners, they can choose from a wide variety of specialties such as family practice, pediatric, geriatric, neonatal, women’s health and psychiatric. In addition to this, some other advanced nursing spheres are clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists. Some advanced nurse practitioners prefer to go into hospital administration since there are various paths for practitioners to follow within health care.

Master’s degree is a must for nurse practitioners. The time span for majority of programs is two years and necessitates a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN for entry. There are a few schools that require one to two years of practice as an RN or a registered professional.

Nursing being the leading health care occupation employs 2.5 million people and is likely to adjoin almost 600,000 jobs over the next few years. The salary for nurses differs according to geographic location, years of experience, type of nursing and level of education. Initial salaries for entry level staff nurses varies from $30,000 to $45,000 per year including extra pay for evening, night and weekend shifts. The median annual salary for advanced practitioners is $82,950 and the median annual salary for registered nurses is $65,130. Being a nursing practitioner, one can create a difference in one’s life and also in the lives of others.

The Types of Nurse Practitioner Areas to Specialize in When Pursuing a Medical Career

Most people start their careers in general nursing before carving out an area of specialization later on. A nurse practitioner typically requires a Master’s degree in the area he or she has practiced in. These professionals are authorized to work autonomously and collaboratively in an extensive clinical role. In this career, nurses are involved in assessing and managing patients. They may refer patients to doctors, prescribe medication, and order diagnostic investigations.

There are different kinds of nurse practitioners serving in hospital facilities all around the country. This list highlights some of the most popular NP positions.

1) Adult Gerontology nurses

These medical professionals offer care and education on disease-prevention topics. They strictly serve adult patients by assessing, diagnosing and managing common problems they might have from time to time. You will find them in community clinics, ambulatory care centers, internal medicine offices and other medical facilities.

2) Pediatric nurses

They provide medical care to children and teens in general. You’ll find them working in a wide range of settings, including those situated in under-served communities and ambulatory facilities. They take care of both sick (or those who have chronic illnesses) and healthy children.

3) Psychiatric nurse practitioners

These NPs work with individuals, families or specific population which may be suffering from mental problems. They manage therapy and provide intervention treatment. The law also allows them to prescribe medication to mentally-ill patients.

4) Emergency nurse practitioners

The needs of an emergency room are so vast, which is why nurses wanting to practice in this area must learn all facets of basic care. Emergency rooms typically handle all types of patients, whether adult or kids. These medical practitioners are trained to understand various healthcare needs of a population.

5) Neonatal nurse practitioners

Their work is strictly done in a nursery or a neonatal intensive care unit. They address problems suffered by newborns and infants too. They work with parents and other healthcare providers to offer medical solutions where needed.

6) Acute care nurses

They handle patients who need short term medical care. They may work in an emergency care setting, outpatient facility or in a mental institution. They will assess the type of illness a patient is suffering from, suggest a solution or consult with other medical professionals to find a lasting solution.

7) Nurse practitioner

This mainly involves students taking nurse practitioner programs, and may specialize in a variety of areas. For instance, they may handle adult care, pediatric care, mental care, and sometimes emergency care. With enough hours to practice, they gain in-depth knowledge in assessing and diagnosing patients. With more experience, they acquire treatment skills in the area where they’ve specialized in.

8) Family nurse practitioner

They assess the health of their patients, offer them direct care and teach both individuals and families on matters concerning their health. In order to succeed in their work, they must collaborate with primary care physicians as well as other medical care professionals.

Conclusion

The types of nurse practitioners can vary based on the niche they serve. The 8 areas described above are the main niches where nurse practitioners choose to specialize in. Also, most areas mentioned above require graduate-level education, although others will require Masters-level training.