Healthcare has been a popular field for decades; it still holds extreme significance as health is the essential constituent of human life. Unlike other sectors, the medical industry always has openings for new people. Moreover, many modern people are inclined to make a career in a field that allows them to give back to the community while drawing handsome salaries. Thus, many choose nursing as a profession. Nursing is a dynamic career that offers nurses lifelong learning opportunities. The industry sees millions of applications every year as the industry continues to expand, bringing forth new subfields.
The role of nursing has evolved over the years, and today, nurses hold multiple responsibilities. However, their primary duty is to look after patients and deliver them quality care. Nurses work alongside doctors and assist them in diagnosing patients’ illnesses, devising their treatment plans, and providing patients with the best care.
In contemporary healthcare, nurses have several subfields. Nurse Practitioners, widely referred to as NPs, are skillful nurses who have undergone aggressive nursing training. Many people want to know more about NPs and learn about the process of becoming one.
Nurse practitioners have given nursing a different perspective as they provide a special association to healthcare. They possess higher degrees of nursing and can prescribe medical scans, read results to diagnose diseases, and provide medical treatments. NPs can do half of the physicians’ jobs in the absence of doctors. NPs work in healthcare facilities and often serve in leadership roles.
NPs draw a handsome salary and are always in demand. Since distance learning has become popular, many nurses register in online nursing programs to earn modern skills. Numerous medical institutes now offer e-learning programs. Nurses can enroll themselves in masters nurse practitioner programs online to equip themselves with advanced skills and gain competence.
NPs can work in multiple settings, including community clinics, home or healthcare agencies, educational institutes, mental healthcare facilities, hospitals, home healthcare agencies, or private practice.
Types of Nurse Practitioners
Nurse practitioners can acquire further competence in a wide variety of fields. They can specialize in a specific area and get an in-depth insight into it. The following are some types of NPs, and each of them requires nurses to earn MSN to professionally practice:
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
- Oncology Nurse Practitioner
- Acute Nurse Practitioner
- Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
- Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner
- Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner
- Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
- Emergency Nurse Practitioner
- Occupational Nurse Health Practitioner
Here are some points that can serve as a guide for becoming a nurse practitioner:
1. Earn a Bachelor Degree
Earning a bachelor’s degree is the first step to become a nurse practitioner. It helps build a foundation and gives NPs the basic knowledge of nursing. NPs work in different settings and serve a variety of patient populations. After earning a bachelor’s degree, nurses get a better idea about nursing and can choose a specialization field for themselves.
2. Get Yourself Registered as Registered Nurse
Once nurses have gained a bachelor’s, they must strive to become registered nurses. Some students prefer becoming LPN, licensed practical nurse first, allowing them to work in clinical settings. LPNs can draw a salary while they pursue a degree to become an RN. Nurses can enroll in courses online and expedite their learning process and become Registered Nurse.
3. Practice Compassion Generally
Nurses exhibit a gentle aura and deal with compassion. They serve people when they are in vulnerable conditions and need additional support. Nurses striving to become an NP must practice empathy in public life. NPs job is unpredictable, and they encounter some horrific scenes of patients’ health and wounds. Some nurses repeatedly come across such patients, and witnessing scary scenes kills sympathy in them. Nurses should exercise kindness in their daily life, as it makes them compassionate. Besides, empathetic nurses help them perform proficiently.
RNs can work in different settings to gain experience, and it helps them in broadening their horizons. Nurses deal with people from other circles, and some may be challenging to handle. Volunteering provides nurses with enriching experiences, and they learn tactics to stay composed in stressful situations. The experiences assist in building strong nerves and improving their practices. Furthermore, volunteering adds magnitude to the CV. It raises the chances of nurses landing a job in a prestigious healthcare organization.
5. Work on Core Skills
Aside from sympathy and compassion, NPs must possess multiple qualities. NPs have to communicate information to subordinate staff and occasionally educate patients or their families about critical health issues. Nurses must strive to be keenly observant and give attention to detail. NPs should possess critical thinking skills, as they occupy a crucial authoritative position and make essential decisions. NPs must be confident in their approach and should not lose focus while dealing with acute patients. Leadership skills are a must for NPs as they inspire junior nurses and provide patients better services.
6. Pass Certification Exams
NPs often choose a specialization area, and as per their chosen course, they need to pass the certification exams. Some Nurse Practitioner areas may require specific years of experience before taking the exams. Passing certification exams make nurses eligible to earn state licensure and land an NP job.
7. Obtain State Licensure
The final step to becoming a Nurse Practitioner is to obtain state licensure. NPs requirements vary from state to state. Nurses must search and strive to meet the criteria of becoming an NP. Although medical experts often talk about a national NP licensure model, nurses need to work for their preferred state NPs requirements. After earning a state license, they can easily land a job as an NP.
Nurse practitioners are highly qualified and eligible to take necessary medical decisions with the collaboration of other healthcare workers. NPs put in efforts to ensure that patients receive the best medical service and help them recover quickly. They serve as a bridge and connect doctors, patients, and their families. NPs often work in leadership roles and play an essential role in reforming nursing practices. NPs must stay abreast with the current happenings of the nursing world and equip themselves with the latest skills. An increasing number of people are interested in nursing and NP particularly and strive to know more about their career path.