The decision to become a Nurse Practitioner could one of the most rewarding things that you have ever done in your life. What differentiates a Nurse Practitioner’s practice from a registered nurse’s practice is the special combination of medicine that aids in forming a tie between patient care and patient cure. Since a small number of physicians enter Family Practice, a Nurse Practitioner fills the need for affordable and effective health care. Since its inception in 1965, many nurses have extended their careers into higher learning by taking up Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Because of the need for more accessible healthcare, Nurse Practitioner programs have blossomed all over the world. Some advantages of being a Nurse Practitioner aside from the monetary compensation are, job satisfaction the authority, freedom, and of course the challenge to come up with a treatment plan for patients based on your knowledge and specialty.
A Nurse Practitioner is an APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) with a master’s or doctoral degree. An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, or APRN, is a nurse with a more advanced knowledge in clinical education and a wider scope of practice in the field of nursing. All Nurse Practitioners must be registered nurses with additional extensive training, and education of a much broader scope, compared to traditional registered nurses. To be able to practice, a Nurse Practitioner must pass a national board certification.
To registered nurses looking for a change in their career, being a Nurse Practitioner will be very rewarding. RN’s have the option to take part in a more exciting practice environment with more challenges than regular nursing duties. Also, RN’s get a large degree of autonomy when dealing with advanced practice. Duties like treating physical and mental conditions, which are liabilities once only implemented by doctors, are part of a Nurse Practitioner’s responsibilities. Some of these include: diagnosing diseases, providing suitable treatment, prescribing medications, patient examinations, treating injuries and infections, going over medical history, and gathering and inspecting diagnostic tests. Nurse practitioners can solely be a patient’s principal health care provider.
A wider scope of Nurse Practioners’ responsibilities:
- Procurement of patient’s medical history
- Physically observing and examining the patient
- Conducting preventive tests such as for vision and hearing
- Identifying any threats the patient may be exposed to and digest the patients’ needs
- Ordering any diagnostic tests the patient may need
- Evaluate patient condition, health history, and diagnostic tests
- Determine needs of patient and family based on particular and impartial info gathered
- Objectifying a comprehensive care plan
- Offer and reassure positive health care education
- Frequently reexamine and make alterations to plan of care in order to attain health care aims
- When needed, make recommendations to appropriate physicians
Institutions Nurse Practitioners could work in include:
- Walk-in clinics
- Veteran’s administration facilities
- School/college clinics
- Retail-based clinics
- Public health departments
- Private & public schools, universities and colleges
- Physician/private medical practices
- Physician offices
- Nursing schools
- Nursing homes
- Nurse-led clinics
- Nurse practitioner practices/offices
- Hospitals and hospital clinics
- Hospice care
- Home health care agencies
- Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
- Community clinics, health centers, urgent care centers
Like most doctors, a Nurse Practitioner should also be an advocate in educating people to have a healthier lifestyle. Compassion in terms of communication is the key to reaching out to patients. Having empathy contracts the gap amid patient and expert. Nurse Practitioners, through their distinctive knowledge and standpoint, meet wide-ranging and compound needs of patients through: assessment, diagnosis, and developing and administering health care plan.
Nurse Practitioner Benefits
Because Nurse Practitioners have a more advanced career and a higher level of practice than Registered Nurses, they have many and varied benefits. Annual compensation of Nurse Practitioners is anywhere in the range of $72,000 to $100,000—this is depending on experience, practice, and specialty. In a private practice setting, a Nurse Practitioner works together with physicians but may also actually work in their own clinics—may it be in hospitals, corporations, insurance companies, or government services. The decrees of Nurse Practice Acts govern a Nurse Practitioner’s practice independently. Nurse Practitioners, just like doctors, can open their own practice, individually or in groups, not like Physician Assistants who still takes orders from physicians. Health care over the years grows more complex and need for Nurse Practitioners rapidly grows as lesser and lesser physicians want to become general practitioners. A longer term comprehensive patient care and being able to practice independently without the doctor’s orders gives a Nurse Practitioner satisfaction—the compensation is only a bonus.
- Acute Care
- Acute Care Pediatric
- Adult Acute Care
- Adult Cardiovascular CARE
- Adult Critical Care
- Adult Primary Care
- Adult Psychiatric
- Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse
- Advanced Diabetes Management
- Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner
- Chronic Care
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Family Psychiatric
- Mental Health
- Occupational Health
- Palliative Care
- Palliative Care Management
- Pediatric Acute
- Pediatric Critical Care
- Pediatric Oncology
- Women’s Health
PEDIATRICS – Pediatrics Nurse Practitioners usually provide health care to infants, children, and adolescents—both well and ill. Health maintenance such as: examinations, repetitive development screenings, common childhood illnesses, preventive guidance, common health concerns, childhood immunizations, school physicals, are all provided by Pediatrics Nurse Practitioners. Acute care like: caring for children who are chronically ill, performing critical health assessments, interpreting diagnostic tests and lab results, and ordering medication for critical illnesses is also part of a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner’s job. Pediatrics Nurse Practitioners may work form private clinics or community hospitals, and other care facilities. Others actually focus on a specific specialty like: oncology, cardiology, gastroenterology, or even dermatology.
MIDWIFERY – Nurse Midwifery Practitioners provide care to childbearing women specifically during labor. Nurse Midwifery Practitioners also provide care during pregnancy and postpartum. A Nurse Midwifery Practitioner may work in outpatient clinics, birthing centers, and hospitals. Although majority of Nurse Midwifery Practitioners are female, both men and women practice the health care profession—the midwife reference is used for both genders. Nurse Midwifery Practitioners also help care for the newborn especially in their breastfeeding phase.
FAMILY – Family Nurse Practitioners doesn’t necessarily provide medical services solely to families. Family Nurse Practitioners actually provide primary nursing and medical services to individuals and groups as well. Family Nurse Practitioners emphasize on disease prevention and health promotion. They also manage chronic and acute diseases. Family Nurse Practitioners usually provide medical services to ambulatory and community health care settings. Usual patients are outpatients. Family Nurse Practitioners also provide follow-up care and coordinate referrals.
NEONATAL – Neonatal Nurse Practitioners specialize in newborns. Neonatal Nurse Practitioners have advanced practice in newborn child care varying in different conditions. Common diagnoses Neonatal Nurse Practitioners handle include: abnormalities that require surgery, respiratory distresses and disorders, sepsis, and prematurity.
ANESTHETICS – This is for advanced practice Nurse Practitioners who are certified to provide anesthesia. These Nurse Practitioners are certified to administer anesthesia and provide care in a surgical procedure.
GERONTOLOLOGICAL – Gerontological Nurse Practitioners provide health care for old people. Like Family Nurse Practitioners, Gerontological Nurse Practitioners manage and diagnose both acute and chronic diseases but specializes for older people.
Nurse Practitioner compensation is always better established than the traditional registered nurse. There are countless reasons why their wage is far healthier than the cute wage traditional RN’s get but solely is because of their level of experience and far more complex understanding of the field. Compensation also varies depending on the Nurse Practitioner’s specialization in medical practice and of course, experience.
To be a successful Nurse Practitioner, one must need to secure his diploma and his registration as a nurse. Because Nurse Practitioners perform a far more intricate task, they are subject to more training and more experience.
Nurses took an advantage of the health care crisis scenario and took their learning to a far more multifaceted and independent setting. Due to the decline of physicians wanting to be part of the Family Care bandwagon, many registered nurses have given the opportunity to take their learning into a further compound development. The unfortunate situation of the lack of physicians has paved a way for nurses to work independently. Because of monetary concerns, doctors prefer general practice leading a new branch in health care through Nurse Practitioners.
This day, Nurse Practitioners differ immensely from their counterparts in the olden days. The tasks given to present practitioners are highly comparable to what doctors do and the training they undergo is as complex as having a professional doctor’s degree.
The medical field by far is the most lucrative fastest growing industry in the entire globe. The demand for doctors and nurses hikes as the economy slumps. Training programs for Nurse Practitioners today have increased in standards making nurses well equipped in the field. Many medical organizations appeal to the fast growing industry but the demand for the practice just pushes a higher regard for Nurse Practitioners. People are now aware of the gravity of the profession and its importance to the medical field especially in this recent recession. Nurse Practitioners have been considered, over the years, as substitute for doctors. Although correct, doctors are still more qualified and getting second opinions are always necessary in critical conditions. Nurse Practitioners are very well certified to treat and diagnose but doctors still do have the upper hand.
Prerequisites of taking a Nurse Practitioner course are: current nursing registration, high GPA, and good physical and mental health. Such courses not only offer classroom and clinical study setting but hands on experience in a critical medical setting.