Is Becoming A Nurse Practitioner The Right Career Move For You?
Are you considering becoming a nurse practitioner? Here's what to know about this exciting career decision and how to pursue it.
There are few professions more noble and meaningful than nursing. With the rapidly aging Baby Boomer generation becoming more in need of medical attention, nurses from all disciplines are in high demand. One of the most sought after specialties in the industry is the nurse practitioner. With the ability to diagnose, treat and even prescribe medications in the same way that a doctor does, nurse practitioners are a great asset to many smaller communities and private offices. As a nurse practitioner, you will be able to see patients of all ages through the entirety of their treatment process. If you have an undeniable passion to help people and be of service in a medical environment you may want to consider this as a career. Becoming a nurse practitioner requires dedication and specialized training. You can obtain some of that education through an online FNP Program along with in-class and in-clinic instruction.
What Is A Nurse Practitioner?
A nurse practitioner is a specially trained and certified registered nurse. They have many of the same skills and training as a medical doctor. They are able to begin with a patient’s full diagnosis by ordering the required tests and completing a physical examination. They can remain with their patients as the primary care standard through all treatment and recovery from injury and illness. The laws regarding nurse practitioners vary from state to state. In some areas, a nurse practitioner can work independently but, in others, they are mandated to work under the supervision of a medical doctor. Take note of all of the laws, education and training minimums and the testing requirement in your state before you start the process. Nurse practitioners have been in service for over 50 years. They have filled the needs that were necessary when doctors were few and far between, especially in rural areas. There are currently over 275,000 nurse practitioners working in the U.S. today.
As a nurse practitioner, you will have the opportunity to work in many different environments including hospitals, private clinics, urgent care wards, and even schools. Patients of all ages and backgrounds will be under your care. There is expected to be a 36% increase in the demand for nurse practitioners before the year 2026. You can expect to earn a salary of over $100,000 per year as compensation for your training and hard work.
A nurse practitioner needs to have a broad scope of skills including a keen sense of optimism and compassion. You need to be an excellent listener to aid in your diagnostic process. You will be in charge of diagnosing illness and injury and ordering proper testing to support your suspicions. The patient’s treatment process and recovery will be under your direction. You will be able to manage chronic illness, treat minor injuries, conduct physical exams and prescribe appropriate medications to help your patients. In short, a patient’s care will be entirely in your hands from beginning to end.
The training and education to become a nurse practitioner are more involved than that for a registered nurse. Although you will need to complete your BSN to become an RN you will need to have further specialized training if you want to go on and pursue a career as a nurse practitioner. You will begin by obtaining your Bachelor of Science in Nursing and then follow it with a Masters of Science in Nursing with an FNP specialty. This is the minimum requirement to go on to the required testing. You will then be required to pass the FNP exam that is given by each state governing body. Once you have passed your exam you can begin the process of applying for a FNP state license so that you will be able to begin practicing as a nurse practitioner. Becoming a nurse practitioner requires dedication and passion for education. To become a Registered Nurse you will have to attend training for up to 4 years. To go on to get your FNP licensing you will need to commit to at least 2 further years of study. In addition to your in-class training and education, each nurse practitioner candidate is required to complete 500 hours of service in a clinical environment.
Not everyone is suited or skilled enough to become a nurse practitioner as it requires a special balance of training and heart to excel. But, those who succeed in their training go on to be fulfilled, irreplaceable and successful healers. If you are interested in becoming a nurse practitioner, you will be entering an honorable and exciting line of work. With commitment and dedication, you can become a specialized nurse that can work with patients to educate, prevent and heal.