Deciding to become a nurse opens up a whole world of opportunities. One of these is becoming a nurse practitioner which is an advanced RN position.
Choosing this option will elevate your pay, give you more responsibility and will require a bit more education.
In this article, we will be taking a look at everything you will need to know to get work as a nurse practitioner. From what a nurse practitioner does, to the salary, and to the requirements, it is all in our quick guide.
Nurse Practitioner Job Description
This position is an advanced RN that can be a primary or specialized nurse. Nurse practitioners will generally specialize in a select type of patient (i.e., family, children, or aged).
These health care professionals can prescribe medication, perform an examination, make a diagnosis, and execute treatment just like a doctor. In 20 states, they are labeled as full practice authorities, which allows them to do all this without the supervision of a doctor.
Pay Info & Requirements
Many factors contribute to the need for nurse practitioners. Among these are the physician shortage, an aging population, and legislation on health care. In fact, there is some source that states over the next eight years, the need for nurse practitioners will rise by almost 30%.
This contributes to not only the requirements of this position but the pay scale as well. Right now, the average salary of a nurse practitioner, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is about $110,000 per year.
This, of course, depends on the state you practice in and the level of education you have.
Here are some potential salary figures.
- General Nurse Practitioner – $100,000 per annum
- Certified Anesthetist – $160,000 per annum
- Gerontological – $95,000 per annum
- Psychiatric – $100,000 per annum
- Family – $90,000 per annum
Along with the educational prerequisites, there are a few personality traits that will be very helpful on the road to becoming a nurse practitioner. A good nurse practitioner will have:
- Communication skills
- Deductive reasoning
Becoming a nurse practitioner will require several years of study, starting with the initial need for a BS in nursing. The additional educational requirements to become a nurse practitioner can only start after that and some clinical experience.
Here are the educational prerequisites you will need to enter into a nurse practitioner course.
- BS in nursing
- Clinical experience
- A good GPA
- A good score on the GRE or Graduate Record Examination.
Once you have checked these boxes, you have to continue your education. Enrollment in a two-year graduate program is the first step. After this, you will need to earn your license, and then you can begin working.
There are many duties that a nurse practitioner can do on top of the traditional nurse duties. Here are a few of the tasks that a nurse practitioner does.
- Acute and preventative care
- Fill out patient history
- Maintain own patient list
- Order diagnostic testing
- Prescribe medications
- Assist with surgeries
- Admit, discharge and transfer patients
- Collaborate with other departments
- Patient referrals
- Assess patients’ needs
- Educate patients
How to Apply to Jobs
There are plenty of high paying positions out there and getting one of these rest solely in your hands. You will want to make sure everything you have – certification, licensure, and education – is what is needed in your state. Then send out your resumes and begin the interviewing process.
There are tons of places you can find jobs, such as the careers section of any hospital. You could even go through some of the online job boards like Indeed or Zip Recruiter.
If you want to find a good selection of nurse practitioner jobs, check out this link.
There is a desperate need for nurse practitioners and any medical professional due to the rise in population and many other factors.
Having the dedication and tenacity to complete your nurse practitioner education and get out there in the world to save some lives is a noble aspiration.
The information we have laid out above should help get work as a nurse practitioner. If this is a profession that excites you make sure to really research the job and find the best avenue to find a job for you.