Nurse practitioner programs can help take registered nurses to the next level in their career. They have been working in the industry since the 1960s, according to the Mayo Clinic, and provide crucial services to patients.
Today there’s more opportunity than ever before for nurses who want to pursue the advanced education needed to become a certified nurse practitioner.
How to Choose a Nurse Practitioner Program
There are a lot of options out there for nurse practitioner programs, depending on what area someone wants to specialize in. The graduate-level training could focus on a number of practice areas, including:
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Nurse Educator
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Nursing Administration
- Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
- Adult Nurse Practitioner
- Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who complete advanced education and licensing. They are authorized to diagnose, manage and prescribe medication for an array for medical conditions for patients over 12 years old.They provide crucial patient services which were once only performed by doctors.
Due to growing patient demand a a need to support of doctors, nurse practitioners were given a higher level of responsibility and provide an advanced level of patient care.
The need for nurse practitioner programs grew out of a national shortage of physicians that started in the 1960s and continues today. Currently, there are plenty of amazing opportunities for nurse practitioners, who enjoy an average annual salary of $86,486.
Choosing a nurse practitioner program depends on your career goals and current scheduling needs. Today, the quality of online education is more advanced and interactive than ever, making it a popular option for professionals looking to earn an advanced degree while working full-time or taking care of a family.
After the Nurse Practitioner Program: What They Do
After earning a master’s degree and gaining the proper credentialing, nurse practitioners can work in a number of industries across the healthcare realm. From hospitals to private clinics, nursing homes, at-home care and mental health services – job opportunities abound for nurse practitioners.
With the added responsibility comes a higher level of stress and, according to NP Central, the stress for new practitioners can be quite a challenge. like many other jobs in the healthcare realm, being an NP is not your typical 9 to 5 workday. You may be asked to work long shifts, nights, weekends and holidays. Practitioners are also on call regularly and may have to report for duty on short notice.
The Advantages of Being an NP
While the job may come with high stress and irregular hours, to many, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
Because nurse practitioners are in such high demand, employers offer excellent benefits and salary packages to recruit and retain qualified workers. New practitioners can expect a great salary, time off, flexible scheduling and top-notch medical benefits.
Of course, there’s a high level of personal satisfaction that comes with being a nurse practitioner. Most professionals entered the healthcare realm out of a sense of duty and enjoy working with patients and helping people. Compassion and patience are personal attributes that will serve any NP very well.