What is a Nurse Practitioner?

If you are thinking about a career as a nurse practitioner, you have made a great choice. It takes a special kind of person to become a nurse. Nurses usually have great qualities about them and they really seem to care about the well being of others. They also tend to be patient, kind, and work well with others. It is a big decision and one not to be taken lightly, but if you do make the decision to become a nurse practitioner, it will be a rewarding career choice. Nurse practitioners have been providing health-care services to patients for over 40 years and are an essential part of the health care service industry.

What is a nurse practitioner? A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has completed advanced training and education in specialized as well as common medical fields like pediatrics or family practice and they offer a wide range of health care services. They provide the same care as a physician and they work closely with doctors. In many cases, a nurse practitioner serves as a patient’s main health care provider. Many people feel that a nurse practitioner spends more time with them and spend more time discussing prevention and providing patient education than doctors.

Individualized care is one of the main focal points of the nurse practitioner. They really care about prevention and how illness affects a patient and their family. Focusing on prevention helps cut down on the amount of prescriptions and as a result, it is less expensive. The everyday duties of a nurse practitioner may consist of taking health histories, giving complete physical examinations, diagnose and/or treat chronic illnesses as well as common problems, discuss x-ray and lab results, prescribe medications, provide advice on therapy and help promote healthy lifestyles.

Nursing is health care’s largest occupation and nurse practitioners are in high demand. The American Nurses Association states that 60 to 80 percent of health care maintenance can be provided by nurse practitioners. A nurse’s average salary is approximately $86,000 annually.

Here are the steps to becoming a nurse practitioner:

First, acquire a bachelor’s degree from an approved nursing program. Second is to pass the national licensure exam that will allow you to get an entry-level nursing position. Third would be gaining experience as a registered nurse, usually one to two years. Forth is to complete a Master of Science in a nursing degree program, and finally, a national certification in a specialty area.

It may sound like a lot of work but the pay off is great. Not only would you have a career in a highly demanded field with great pay, you will be doing what you love, helping others.


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