What is a Nurse Practitioner
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are masters-level educated nurses who work as practitioners in a variety of specialties, from women’s health to surgical to cardio,
and everything in between.“Many times, the average nurse practitioner student has been practicing as a registered nurse for 10 years or so,
They just get to a point in their career that they want more autonomy. There is just such a need for this profession because of the Affordable Care Act. between 30 and 40 million more people have been added to the primary care system after finally getting health insurance. But no single discipline can handle that. So, the nurse practitioners are picking up a lot of that primary care that needs to be done,
“They also can own their own clinics. In fact, there are 250,000 nurse-owned and managed clinics across the country.”
Working as a nurse practitioner is so desirable. News & World Report ranked the profession as #2 Best Health Care Job of 2017 and #2 in the
100 Best Jobs overall in 2017.Interested in becoming an NP yourself? Here’s what you need to know about working as a nurse practitioner and how to go back to school to become an NP.
Transitioning from an RN to an NP
Many nurses are choosing to advance their educations and their careers by going back to school to become nurse practitioners (NP). I
In order to become an NP, you will have to earn at least a Master’s degree as an NP or CNM. At the bare minimum, you will need to be an RN before enrolling in an NP program, although there are different pathways available depending on if you already have your Bachelor’s degree or have earned an associate’s or diploma-based RN.
Benefits of Becoming a Nurse Practitioner
Why become an NP? There are many reasons–both personal and professional–that may drive a nurse’s decision to pursue an advanced degree. The opportunities abound for this profession. Becoming an NP allows for increased autonomy, more specialized and intense training in your field of interest, more freedom, and flexibility with your career, and usually, a higher wage.
-Operate your own clinic. Because NPS are independent practitioners, they also have the ability to operate and own their own clinic, depending on their own state
rules, and have enhanced clinical skills, such as the ability to prescribe medication for treatment.
-Nurse practitioners can prescribe medications and order testing for their patients. No matter what the specialty, he/she will spend the majority of time at work assessing, examining, diagnosing, and treating patients
-Nurse Practitioners can diagnose patients with diabetes or high blood pressure and then help them manage it. They can order and then interpret laboratory tests and X-rays. They also are there to educate and support patients’ families through the bad moments.
-Nurse Practitioners have the authority to work independently.
-Nurse practitioners have a chance to work in all types of settings including hospitals, doctors’ offices, urban and rural clinics, college campuses, and within
-NPS has increased opportunities to advance in their fields and expand their practice beyond solely bedside nursing.
RN to NP Programs
Depending on where you choose to do your coursework to become a nurse practitioner, the options are varied. Programs across the country offer full-time, part-time
and online choices. Some take one year full-time, others can go for years with part-time classes and clinic work.
Many of these programs provide a pathway to becoming a nurse practitioner for a variety of nurses who may have different levels of prior experience including those who are already RNs, BSNs, and MSN. For working nurses, online nurse practitioner programs allow students to choose their own pace and work around their busy nursing schedules to complete the training are a convenient option.