How to Become A Nurse Practitioner
What is a nurse practitioner?
A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) who has received advanced training & knowledge through a nursing degree or specialized healthcare training. Most nurse practitioners usually have a Master’s degree and an area of specialization. Due to their advanced training and experience, nurse practitioners perform a variety of functions normally attributed to doctors and physicians, such as immunization, patient examination, diagnosis, treatment and follow up. Moreover, a nurse practitioner can also prescribe and administer medications to patients in most of the states. Nurse practitioners may also be called upon for physical therapy and various other duties. They also perform vital administrative and managerial functions, such as filing reports and maintaining patient records. They perform duties in virtually every aspect of the healthcare industry.
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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners earn typically between $64,000 and $120,000 annually, with experienced practitioners making even more. Add to that the fact that the nursing profession can be fulfilling on a personal level too as you are helping other people in coping with pain and on towards healing. Becoming a nurse practitioner improves your chances of a promotion and you can find employment opportunities all over.
How do I become a nurse practitioner?
In order to become a nurse practitioner, students with a high school diploma usually study for a ‘Registered Nurse’ (RN) certification, or for a degree in nursing. These degrees include the Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) which can be completed in around 2 and 4 years respectively. After the completion of a degree program, students must first obtain the RN certification and enroll in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. The MSN degree programs offer a number of specializations to choose from, such as immunology, microbiology, pathology, pediatrics, emergency treatment, infusion, maternal and neonatal care, peri-operative care and anesthesia training. The Master’s degree in nursing normally lasts for about two years, but for people who already have some work experience in a healthcare related field, the degree can be completed in as little as 18 months,
Are there any online education programs?
As more and more professionals are wanting to become nurse practitioners, several nursing associations – such as the American Nursing Association (ANA) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)- provide the right career guidance to people. In addition, these associations maintain a list of the schools that offer the training required for nurse practitioners. Some of these colleges offer online programs as well which are ideal not only for working professionals who wish to enhance their credentials and career opportunities, but also for students who may be taking classes in another course as well. Lectures can be taken from the comfort of one’s home using a simple internet connection, any time, day or night. Moreover most online programs are offered at lower fees as charged by traditional colleges, and students also save a substantial amount of money by not having to commute to and from class, making online nurse practitioner programs more appealing.