Who are Nurse Practitioners?
Similar to other professions, the field of nursing has room for career advancement. This means that a Registered Nurse (RN) who is well experienced and has advanced his/her studies has a chance of becoming a nurse practitioner. This type of nurses has more responsibilities than registered nurse. Similarly, they are more educated and as such their salaries are significantly higher from those nurses who are yet to reach this advanced level of practicing. Perhaps the major difference between the nurse practitioners and registered nurses is that they are allowed to work independently without necessarily being under doctor’s supervision. As a matter of fact, they have full practice authority. The fact that they are well experienced in taking care of patients as nurses and that they have advanced education qualification make them make them very important members of the medical teams.
There are a number of key steps that one has to undergo in order to become a nurse practitioner. The first step is acquiring qualifications to become an RN. In other words, there is no way that you can become an NP without first becoming an RN. It is also good to note that your license as an RN must show that you are good at meeting your obligations as a nurse so that you can be allowed to advance your studies. If you meet those programs then you can now apply for a master’s in nursing program (MSN). In most institutions of higher learning students complete this program within a period of two years. Once you have earned this postgraduate degree in nursing you can now apply for a license as an advanced practice registered nurse. After you have obtained the required certifications and licenses you can begin working as a nurse practitioner.
As mentioned above nurse practitioner have the authority to diagnose and treat different medical conditions without necessarily consulting doctors. Moreover they can educate patients about their medical conditions. It is interesting to note that there is evidence that shows that patients who are under the care of NPS have better healthcare outcomes then those being treated by doctors. Specifically, patients who are under the care of this type of nurses are highly satisfied by the kind of the health services that they get from NPS than the ones that they get from doctors. This therefore means that if you are a registered nurse then you should start thinking about how you will become a nurse practitioner.