Becoming a Nurse Practitioner is much easier than becoming a physician. They are more like physicians than they are nurses. They are considered advanced practice nurses who are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of common and involved medical conditions. Nurse Practitioners have been called glorified doctors because they have many of the same responsibilities that a doctor will have. To become a physician a person must have altogether sixteen years of education and training before they are considered a full-time doctor.
Becoming a nurse practitioner requires a masters or doctorate degree in nursing. Check out the programs below which offer free information:
Nurse Practitioners need a lot of experience and education, but it is not as stringent as a doctors educational requirements would be, even though they do have many of the same job descriptions. Nurse Practitioners can specialize in just one area, such as pediatrics, or they can specialize in many areas and work with people of any age. People will decide to see a Nurse Practitioner instead of a doctor if they feel that they would save more money. This is why people will find Nurse Practitioners working in a lot of community and health clinics. They work at a level that is lower than a doctors, but are higher than a registered nurse. Depending on the state the Nurse Practitioner works in will depend on whether they are able to work independently, or under the guidance of a doctor. In many cases, they are able to work on their own with their own practice.
Nurse practitioners can work in community clinics, health clinics, nursing homes, private offices, public offices, schools, colleges, hospitals, and hospices. They treat both physical and psychological medical conditions through ongoing data collection of a patient’s medical history. They can serve as a patients primary care giver, and they can see patients of all ages, including infants and children. They are nationally certified in many areas of healthcare in areas of pediatrics, neonatal care, gerontology, female medical health, adult health, and oncology. Nurse Practitioners are in high demand in urban and rural area hospitals.
A Nursing Practitioner who is licensed and has the correct credentials will provide diagnosis, treatment, consultation, and follow up care of patients under the direct supervision of a physician. The nursing practitioner provides medical care at the level of training attained.
Nurse Practitioners will effectively identify, evaluate, and addresses the prevention of diseases, while administering quality care for their patients. They will communicate with members of the medical staff on issues concerning consultation, collaboration, and referrals. They are responsible for the diagnosis, and the treatment of critical, prolonged, and long-term healthcare issues. They will also participate in educating patients and families on their preventive care, medical issues, and use of prescribed medications and treatment. They will also maintain accurate and legible medical records, while documenting all medical evaluations, diagnosis, procedures, treatment, prognosis, referrals, education, and consultations that are consistent with state regulatory standards.
They will facilitate in the evaluation of patient records by communicating with their physicians on protocols, and will receive and implement constructive directives. They will analyze new data gained from conferences, training workshops, professional literature, and on the job training, where they will assimilate it into their every day clinical practice. Nurse Practitioners can handle many different tasks that most nurses at lower level credentials are not qualified for. Their range of responsibilities are much broader, which include taking care of patients who have issues with arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. They can order testing in diagnostics, order medication, and perform some surgical procedures.
Training and Educational Requirements
People who choose to be a nurse practitioner will need a bachelor of science degree in nursing, and then a masters degree. They must also be nationally registered as a nurse, and board certified as a nurse practitioner, so that they will be specialized to work in many areas of medical care.
Nurse Practitioners must pass a National Board of Certification in the area of their specialty from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Each state will also have their own licensing and certification program.
Salary and Wages
The starting salary and wages for a Nurse Practitioner start at $73,000 a year and goes up to $84,000 a year. The lowest pay range for a nurse practitioner is $45,000 a year. Some nurse practitioners can make up to $120,000 depending in which state they work in. Family and general practitioners can make up to $120,000. Health diagnosis and treating nurse practitioners can make up to $78,000 a year, healthcare practitioners and technical occupations can make up to $51,000 a year, and healthcare practitioners in many other areas can make up to $45,000 a year.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
- National Council License Examination for Registered Nurses
- American Nurses Credentialing Center
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
- National Certification Corporation
- American Psychiatric Nursing Association
- Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing
- Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
- National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties
- Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation