If you’ve been a registered nurse for a while, you have probably started looking at getting higher credentials. Or, maybe you’re a student just starting out and want to look at possible career paths. The beautiful thing about nursing is that there are so many specializations. Once you’ve earned your chops at the ground level, the possibilities are almost endless, and this great demand is at every level. Becoming a nurse practitioner can be the perfect next step in your career for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you should consider becoming a nurse practitioner.
If you've always worked in the same environment for your whole career, getting a nurse practitioner degree will give you variety. You can decide to work in a specialized clinic or health care department, or you could work in a non-profit organization or public service. Nurse practitioners often work in private practices too. They are often there to assist physicians and reduce their workload by supplying routine care to patients.
Know that you could also decide to open and operate your own clinic if you want to. Nurse practitioners have full practice authority in several states including:
There are 22 states in total where NPs have full practice authority. However, you need to know that each will have its requirements regarding additional licensure. You might also have more privileges in certain states. For example, states like Idaho allow NPs to diagnose, advise and treat patients, but you'll need to get advanced practice licensure to give prescriptions. You will also have to complete 30 hours of qualifiable continuing education. On the other hand, Nebraska will only require you to get the 30 hours of CE. So, make sure that you know what will be asked of you in any state before you go this route.
If you happen to be a man, know that you are very well needed in the profession. If you were still on the fence about being a nurse, we would suggest you check out this article on how the profession has evolved and why there is a need for more men in nursing.
The biggest reason is the great level of stress the healthcare system is under at the moment. We can expect more people to require primary care over the next coming years because of demographic pressure. As well as this, patients benefit from having a diverse set of nurses. It is estimated that about 50% of the American population is male, while they make up only 10% of all nurses in the country. Some patients may be more comfortable discussing certain issues around female nurses, and vice versa. This is one of the many ways in which male nurses could make a difference.
Another great reason to consider making the jump to nurse practitioner is that you’ll be much better remunerated. The median registered nurse makes about $70,000 per year while the average NP makes around $110,000 per year. That is a massive difference, and your duties won’t be that much more demanding. Your specialized skill set, however, is the reason why you'll be so handsomely paid. No matter what your position is as an NP, you can expect to be paid much more than the average for all occupations.
The position of nurse practitioner is also seeing a lot of growth at the moment. As a matter of fact, jobs for nurse practitioners, midwives, and anesthetists are projected to grow by a whopping 45% leading into 2029. It is also estimated that over 110,000 jobs should be added by then.
There are many reasons behind this growth. The first one is the aging of the population. This population will require not only more acute care, but care for chronic disease as well. While job growth is expected all around the country, it is expected to be more pronounced in metropolitan areas. Rural areas should see a growth in demand for FNPs, however.
If you are currently holding a position and want to keep it while studying, you have tons of options today that allow you to do that. One would be to get your NP degree online. This is the perfect choice for professionals for several reasons.
For one, if you go through an online program, you'll be able to study at your own pace. Some students decide to study on weekends, or take classes in the evening. You also have classes that allow you to watch lectures on your own time within a set timeframe. Both of these give you more flexibility.
You should also know that online study has greatly evolved over the years and gives you the right mix of theoretical and clinic work needed by working with facilities in your area. You'll have the exact same set of skills as any other nurse practitioner.
Also, don't assume that people won't respect your degree because you got it online. There is no way for them to know that you got it that way. What you should be looking for is a school with a good reputation for its nursing program. This is what will mainly dictate how your degree will be respected. [Learning how to write a personal statement for your university applications can help increase your chance of getting in to the program you want.]
If you decide to go for a lesser-known school, you have to make sure that the program is accredited. This will not only make sure that your degree is recognized, but it’s a good idea if you want your credits to be transferable as well. ACEN certification is the most important for online programs and certifies that the program meets or exceeds standards for education quality.
As you can see, there are tons of reasons why every practicing or aspiring nurse should consider getting their NP degree. We suggest that you start looking at the details of the profession and see if you could be the right fit.
[MSN degrees have become a popular choice for nurses looking to advance their careers. Wilkes Passan School of Nursing offers an online MSN degree program designed for working nurses who want to continue their education while balancing work and family commitments. The curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of busy professionals, and the faculty is dedicated to providing students with the support they need to succeed. If you are interested in earning your online MSN from Wilkes Passan School of Nursing, start by taking action today.]
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