If you are a registered nurse who has mastered heath assessment skills and acquired a sound knowledge base of common health problems and diseases, consider taking your career to the next level and study to become a nurse practitioner.
Nurse practitioner programs are on the rise because a nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse who delivers high-quality, cost-effective health care for patients.
Present changes in health care reform are opening doors for numerous career opportunities for nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners work in all areas of the medical field; if there is a particular area in medicine that you find intriguing, chances are there is a nurse practitioner program for it.
Some popular nurse practitioners programs to choose from are:
In order to become a nurse practitioner, you have to attain a Masters Degree in Nursing or a PhD in Nursing. There are several educational paths leading to either of these degrees which make you eligible to sit for nurse practitioner state board exams.
There are master degree programs for nurses who have a bachelor's of science degree in nursing and accelerated programs for an associate degree nurse to attain a master's degree. Nurses who already hold a master's degree can take a program to attain a nurse practitioner certificate to become eligible to sit for state board exams or they can pursue a PhD in nursing. Each state has a policy for nurse practitioners scope of practice. They may not be able to perform certain types of medical procedures in all states. It is highly recommended to research your state's policy for nurse practitioners scope of practice before enrolling in a program.
Nurse practitioners demonstrate advanced leadership skills in their community, advocating and practicing preventative healthcare. Nurse practitioners diagnose, treat chronic diseases and acute illnesses. They order and interpret lab work and diagnostic tests. Nurse practitioners also prescribe medications.
Nurse practitioners are mid-level primary care providers who either work independently in their own practice or with a doctor. They also work in hospitals, out-patient clinics and schools. Nurse practitioners also work for home care agencies and in many types of specialty clinics.
Nurse practitioners make significantly more money than registered nurses. Salaries are also depended upon geographical area of place of employment. The median salary for a nurse practitioner in the United States is $91,790.
Job outlook for this profession continues to grow for several reasons, such as aging population needing more care from mid-level providers. Another reason is many aging physicians retiring from medical practices are being replaced by nurse practitioners since their care is more cost-effective without compromising quality of care.
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