Becoming a nurse practitioner can make a difference in people’s lives. One can deal with patients and their families, diagnose and treat medical disorders, and offer complete healthcare services by choosing this career route.
However, it’s crucial to comprehend the requirements of this profession before starting your career as a nurse practitioner. This article will examine the nurse practitioner’s job path from beginning to end. We’ll go through the education requirements, job responsibilities, career path, and other factors so you can decide if nursing is the perfect career for you.
What is a Nurse Practitioner?
A registered nurse (RN) who has completed advanced education and training in a nursing specialty area is known as a nurse practitioner (NP). NPs have a special qualification that enables them to offer various primary and preventive healthcare services to people, families, and communities. In all 50 states, they can also write prescriptions for medicines.
Family practice, pediatrics, women’s health, and geriatrics are just a few of the specialties available to nurse practitioners. NPs can work as administrators, educators, researchers, and policymakers and directly care for patients.
The aging population and growing emphasis on preventative care will likely cause a major increase in demand for NPs in the upcoming years. Being a nurse practitioner is a fantastic choice to consider if you’re thinking about a career in nursing.
The Different Types of Nurse Practitioners
Currently, nurse practitioners (NPs) are one of the most sought-after categories of nurses. There are currently around 270,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) working in the US, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
NPs are registered nurses (RNs) who have acquired additional clinical experience and advanced academic training. Before they may practice, NPs are often required to complete a national certification exam.
Even though all NPs have a few key competencies, they might choose to focus on family medicine, pediatrics, mental health, women’s health, or geriatrics. Additionally, some NPs could decide to work toward getting certified in additional clinical specialties.
Some of the different types of nurse practitioners include:
- Family nurse practitioners: The biggest group of NPs are FNP-BCs. From newborns to the elderly, they offer primary care services to people of all ages. FNPs often work in hospitals, community health clinics, and private medical practices.
- Pediatric nurse practitioners: PNP-PCs treat newborns, kids, and adolescents up to age 21 with primary and specialized care. They might be employed by pediatricians’ offices, hospitals, or clinics.
- Adult-gerontology nurse practitioners: Adults 22 years of age and older can receive primary and specialized treatment from AGNP-BCs. Hospitals or private medical offices could employ them.
- Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners: Women of all ages receive primary and specialized care from women’s health nurse practitioners. They have received training in diagnosing and treating illnesses that frequently afflict women, such as menopause, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer.
- Emergency Nurse Practitioners: ENPs are a subset of advanced practice registered nurses who focus on treating patients with severe, sometimes fatal illnesses and injuries. ENPs operate in a range of settings, including emergency rooms, trauma centers, and critical care units. They are educated to give a greater degree of care than a regular registered nurse. ENPs undergo pharmacology, critical care, and emergency medicine instruction in addition to their clinical education.
Training and Education Required to Become a Nurse Practitioner
One might pursue various educational and training courses to become a nurse practitioner. However, in order to practice, nurse practitioners often need to hold a registered nurse (RN) license and at least a master’s degree in nursing (MSN).
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is the highest level of nursing education required in several states for nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners need to complete a doctoral school that is accredited and pass a national certification exam in order to get a DNP.
To keep their RN licenses and stay up to date on the most recent developments in nursing care, nurse practitioners must also complete continuing education courses in addition to their school requirements.
Job Outlook for Nurse Practitioners
For nurse practitioners, employment prospects are highly favorable. Nurse practitioners’ employment is expected to increase by 31% between 2019 and 2029, which is substantially faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As the population ages, healthcare services will be more needed. In order to manage chronic diseases and offer primary care, nurse practitioners will be required.
Average Salary of a Nurse Practitioner
The salary of nurse practitioners might vary depending on criteria including experience, region, and specialty, so there is no universally applicable solution.
According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly pay for nurse practitioners was $110,930 in May 2020. For experienced professionals working in high-paying locations, nurse practitioners’ salaries can start at roughly $75,000 per year and go as high as $165,000 per year or more.
Pros and Cons of a Career as a Nurse Practitioner
Although a nurse practitioner’s job has obstacles, it may also be incredibly rewarding. Consider the following advantages and disadvantages if you’re thinking about becoming a nurse practitioner.
– People’s lives can change because of you: As a nurse practitioner, you’ll have the chance to look after patients and support them in achieving better health.
– You can advance your career: There are various prospects for promotion in the nursing sector. You can seek executive jobs or pursue a nursing specialization.
-You can work in various settings: Nurse practitioners can work in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, and even schools.
-The job can be stressful: Caring for sick patients can be emotionally and mentally draining.
One career choice that provides a lot of joy and job satisfaction is that of a nurse practitioner. One of the benefits of working in this area is the opportunity to help those in need while simultaneously earning a competitive salary and top-notch benefits.
It doesn’t appear that the demand for healthcare workers will ever decrease, given how high it is right now. Consider becoming a nurse practitioner today if you’re seeking a demanding and fulfilling job with lots of room for advancement!