Nurse Practitioners Can Branch Into A Range Of Specialty Fields

Nurse Practitioner Career Information

If you are a registered nurse seeking additional challenges in your career, or if you are considering a career in healthcare, you should take the time to learn some pertinent nurse practitioner career information. The job outlook for a nurse practitioner, or NP, is very positive, as the need for these kinds of professionals continues to outpace the number of practitioners available to fill the openings. The average salary for a nurse practitioner is around $89,000. This will vary depending on a number of factors; for example, those working in public health generally earn a little less than those in the private sectors, and those nurse practitioners who choose a field of specialty that is in greater demand can often demand a higher salary.

Nurse Practitioner Career Information

The role of the nurse practitioner (NP) takes nursing a step or two beyond the “doctor’s assistant” role in the doctor’s office, urgent care clinic, and hospital. A nurse practitioner is someone who has obtained a degree in nursing and is a registered nurse, but then as gone on educationally. To become a nurse practitioner, you must complete post graduate work as well, that often leads to a masters degree. A residency program is also required. With this training and education, you are able to perform many of the medical examination and maintenance duties that were once performed only by doctors. This is an added value to patients because it offers another level of care, making medical care even more accessible and more affordable.

Once you have become a registered nurse and decided to pursue this higher level of education, you will have several career options available. You will want to choose your course of concentration before choosing the nursing program that is right for you. A neonatal nursing practitioner, or NNP, for example, would work strictly with newborns. Positions are available for certified nurse practitioners in hospitals, clinics, and pediatric offices. Your experience in treating infants will make you a valuable member of a medical team.

A family nurse practitioner (FNP), on the other hand, would work side by side with general practice physicians with both male and female patients. Your foci would be on wellness, disease control, diagnostics, and at times, acute care. You may find a position in a private practice or in public health. The advantage to private and public practices to utilize nurse practitioners is that they can save money, and this savings can be passed on to your patients and/or insurance companies. You will be able to provide stellar medical attention at a fraction of the price of your physician partners.

Another option is to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist, or CNS. The educational requirements for a CNS vary with the specialty you choose. A clinical nurse specialist may choose to specialize in cardiology, psychology, pulmonology, or even anesthesiology. Of course, you will also have to complete a residency in your chosen area. The potential for employment in hospitals, clinics, and ambulatory units continues to grow, as the use of nursing practitioners has proven to be valuable asset again and again. As an NP, you will be able to monitor progress of treatment; administer treatment; and make recommendations for changes.

Another highly specialized option is to become an ACNP, or acute care nursing practitioner. An ACNP works with adults who suffer from acute, chronic, or recurring medical conditions that require ongoing treatment. An ACNP would be responsible for duties dealing with monitoring progress and vitals, administering treatments, and providing general maintenance care. You would likely work in a hospital setting, but you may also work in a clinic, specialist’s office, or even for a visiting nurse program that offers high levels of medical care.

Of course, making the decision to pursue certification as a nurse practitioner is a heavy commitment. It demands years of schooling and clinical experience. There are numerous programs that can how you finance your education (scholarships, grants). However, as a registered nurse, you will be eligible to work in the health care field as you continue your schooling (CaliforniaColoradoFlorida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, etc), and doing so will also help you build the kinds of contacts that will help you advance your career when you are ready. The advancement from registered nurse to nurse practitioner will lead to greater autonomy and often a greater degree of job satisfaction. A nurse practitioner also earns a higher salary than a registered nurse and has more options when it is time to look for a new job. There also are numerous residency programs (Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas, Utah, etc) available for hands on training after completing your schooling.

Whether you would prefer to work in an office or department that focuses on adult health or that of children or infants, you will find that there an educational program that will work for you. Child health and child psychology require a different set of skills at times than adult health would, and that is why the various programs involve specific residency requirements. These residency placements offer further opportunity to build contacts learn of openings that would be a great fit for you.

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