Nurse Practitioner (NP) - How to Become a Nurse Practitioner NP

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

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Nurse Practitioner Job Description

 

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse trained in advanced practice who can provide care to patients throughout the span of years, from premature newborns to the elderly. Nurse practitioners are an integral part of the overall health care provider system.

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Responsibilities

 

Nurse Pratitioners must utilize critical thinking skills when obtaining relevant information about their patient’s health status. They may sometimes need to consult a wide variety of sources, such as the patient’s verbal responses to interrogatories, the clinical examination of the patient and the results of diagnostic tests. They must make use of the acquired data to independently make evidence-based decisions about their patient’s conditions and potential treatments. A NP must be able to cope well with stress, as their work places them in a position of direct involvement with human suffering, life-threatening emergencies and other pressures.

Nurse practitioners can perform any of the following comprehensive and focused health care interventions:

  • Identification and treatment of common acute illnesses and injuries

  • Provide necessary immunizations

  • Management of chronic health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression

  • Order and evaluate diagnostic tests such as EKGs, X-rays and laboratory tests

  • Prescribe therapies and routine medications

  • Perform medical procedures

  • Providing counseling and educational services to patients and their families and caregivers about healthy lifestyle choices and health care options

Nurse practitioners have the authority to practice independently in 26 states. They can prescribe medications in all 50 states, including controlled substances.

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Skills

 

Mental Endurance

Must be able to handle pressure and the demanding work and long hours that comes with their job title.

Physical Endurance

NPs are on their feet all the time and need to be able to respond quickly to situations as they arise.

Stress Management

They must manage the stress and pressure that comes with their job.

Empathy

Being able to relate to patients on an emotional level and understand what they go through is super important for NPs because interact with patients constantly.

Organization

Must be able to situate tasks and documents so as not to mix up records or medications.

Communication

They must communicate between patients and their families so they have to communicate clearly and relay information at a high level.

Patience

Becoming a nurse practitioner and advancing in the field takes time, so it's important to take it slow and easy and save yourself a ton of anxiety.

Detail-Oriented

NPs have a ton of tasks they must perform, so they have to pay attention so as not to mix up medications and seriously injure or harm a patient.

Critical Thinking

 Must constantly be devising new ways of interacting with people, adapt to changes, and learn about the things a medical professional needs to know.

 

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Working Conditions

 

There are approximately 15 percent of all nurse practitioners providing health care services in their own private practices. There are also a growing number of nurse-managed health care centers across the United States. In these facilities, all of the health care is provided by and directed by nurse practitioners working in collaboration with other health care professionals.

In addition to private practice, nurse practitioners may find employment opportunities in the following areas:

  • Medical clinics

  • Doctor’s offices

  • Hospitals

  • Managed care organizations

  • Service organizations focusing on rural areas

  • Community health centers in urban areas

  • Community college and university campuses

  • Employee wellness and health care centers

  • Health care technology companies, such as pharmaceutical manufacturers

  • Health care research facilities

  • Educational roles in schools and universities

  • Governmental agencies, such as health departments or military service

Depending on the area where he or she is working, the nurse practitioner’s work schedule may be a standard workweek, or it may include weekend and holiday rotations. There may be on-call hours required, as well.

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are highly and actively recruited as the number of primary care physicians decreases nationwide. NPs will continue to be sought after as the demand for health care services continues to increase.

 


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How to Become a Nurse Practitioner:

 

Registered nurses with graduate education in nursing are called nurse practitioners (NPs). Most NPs complete at least two years of study after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing to hold a master’s degree. NPs may specialize the focus of their practice into any of the following areas:

  • Pediatric and/or neonatal services

  • Adult and/or gerontology services

  • Family primary care

  • Women’s health primary care

  • Psychiatric or mental health care

  • Occupational health care

  • Acute care settings

  • Sub-specialty training, such as oncology or gastroenterology

 

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

 

To be a NP, you need to get a BSN as you will need to go on for your master's.  A receiving your BSN will make you a more educated RN, ready to go on to graduate school. 

A conventional BSN program takes 4 years to complete. A popular movement now finds more and more colleges and universities offering students who already hold a bachelor’s in another field an accelerated route to nursing-program graduation. These accelerated BSN programs take between 12 to 18 months to complete. If you already have your RN from an Associates Degree, you can do the RN-to-BSN program in 2 to 3 years, which can open you up to more opportunity and growth. 

 

2. Take the Graduate Requisite Exam (GRE)

 

Most graduate programs revolving around forensic science require the GRE for admittance. It's a 3 hour and 45 minute, standardized, multiple choice exam that covers analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning.

 

The GRE is broken down into six primary sections:

 

1 Analytical Writing Section
  • 2 writing assignments
  • 60 minutes
  • Tests student's abilities to assess arguments and communicate ideas
2 Quantitative Reasoning Sections
  • ~20 multiple-choice questions
  • 35 minutes per section
  • Tests student's abilities to solve mathematical problems and interpret data

2 Verbal Reasoning Sections

  • ~20 questions per section
  • 30 minutes per section
  • Tests the ability to understand and analyze written material
1 Unscored Section
  • A duplicate of one of the above sections

 

You can find study materials, GRE registration, and your test scores on the GRE website.

 

3. Earn a Master's Degree (2 Years)

 

It's not necessary to get your master's to be a practicing RN, but you need do get your Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) to become a NP. 

Educational Programs for training Nurse Practitioners include graduate-level courses in a variety of health sciences, such as pathophysiology, epidemiology and pharmacology. The program also includes courses in the identification, diagnosis and clinical management of illness, injury and wellness. Students are required to complete several semesters of supervised clinical practice. They are expected to demonstrate competency in providing direct patient health care. Upon graduation from these programs, students are eligible to sit for national board examination to obtain their certification.

There are programs available for an accelerated master’s degree (MSN), which takes about three years to complete. More and more RN-to-MSN and BSN-to-Ph.D. programs are being launched as a way to meet the increasing demand for more highly educated nurses in the workforce.

Another accelerated program is being offered by an increasing number of four-year institutions. These programs, called articulation agreements, are formed in collaboration with community and junior colleges to enable associate degree nurses or bachelor’s degree nurses to effortlessly transition into BSN and MSN programs.

 

4. Earn a Doctoral Degree (4-6 Years)

 

A national movement to require all NPs to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree is growing in popularity. This D.N.P. degree is called a practice doctorate, similar to the academic credentials required by other health care professionals, such as physicians (M.D./D.O.), dentists (D.D.S), clinical pharmacists (Pharm.D.), clinical psychologists (Psy.D. or Ph.D) or other health care providers. A D.N.P. program requires three to four years of study beyond the base degree of bachelor’s in nursing.

 

5. Earn the Required License and Certification

 

You need to pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam before they can practice as a registered nurse. The exam is administered by each state’s board of nursing. In order to take the test, you must first apply for your nursing license from your state board. Each state is different, so you must check to see if you meet all of the requirements for your state. 

The NCLEX covers the following:

  • Safe, effective care environment: Management care and safety and infection control

  • Psychosocial integrity: Coping and adaptation and psychosocial adaptation

  • Health promotion and maintenance: Growth and development through the life span and prevention and early detection of disease

  • Physiology integrity: Basic care and comfort, pharmacological and parenteral therapies, reduction of risk potential and physiological adaptation

 

To become a NP, you need to pass the national certification exam administered by either the The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Certification usually requires passing an examination. Available specialty examinations nurse practitioners may choose from include acute care, diabetes management, family care, school nursing, mental health, gerontology and pediatrics.

Related: Top 10 Best NCLEX-RN Review Books

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
Master's Degree NP - Nurse Practitioner RN - Registered Nurse 2 Years Experience Required Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is offering an exciting opportunity for a Nurse Practitioner! Our NPs plays an important role in the...
12.05.2016
12.05.2016
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Masters prepared graduate of an accredited NP program ACLS and PALS certification preferred. CPR certification required. Current and proper licensure from the Ohio Board of Nursing Current certification as an ANP, FNP, or ACNP Current...
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Masters prepared graduate of an accredited PA/NP Program Current certification as an ANP, FNP, or ACNP EMR experience preferred Must be licensed as a PA or NP in the state of Ohio Prescriptive Authority is required and Active Ohio DEA...
12.05.2016
Master's degree is required Certification Required Licensure Required Bilingual Speakers are encouraged to apply. Experience is required The Nurse Practitioner (NP) is responsible for providing primary care for a caseload of patients. As an...
12.05.2016
Nurse Practitioner opportunity to work with the Hospitalist group rotating in the Observation Unit at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. This state-of-the-art, 763-bed academic/tertiary referral center is part of Carilion Clinic, the largest...
12.05.2016
Carilion Clinic has a regular part-time ( 24 hours/week) Nurse Practitioner opportunity available with Velocity Care in Roanoke, VA and at alternate sites as needed. Velocity Care provides walk-in medical services for non-life threatening...
12.05.2016
Carilion Clinic has a full time Nurse Practitioner opportunity available with Velocity Care- Raphine. Velocity Care provides walk-in medical services for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries. Hours of operation are Monday- Saturday, 8...
12.05.2016
Carilion Clinic has a regular part-time ( 24 hours/week) Nurse Practitioner opportunity available with Velocity Care in Blacksburg, VA and at alternate sites as needed. Velocity Care provides walk-in medical services for non-life threatening...
12.05.2016
Carilion Clinic is seeking a Nurse Practitioner to provide progressive care/ step down unit patient managment for Cardiothoracic Surgery. Hours will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday- 6am-6pm. Join an experienced, innovative team in a nationally...
12.05.2016
Full time Hospitalist Nurse Practitioner opportunity at Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital. Located in Rocky Mount, Va this hospital offers a wide range of medical and surgical services. Fully accredited by the Joint Commission, it admits over...
12.05.2016
Nurse Practitioner opportunity to work with the Hospitalist group at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. This state-of-the-art, 763-bed academic/tertiary referral center is part of Carilion Clinic, the largest not-for-profit health system in...
12.05.2016
Carilion Clinic has a full-time Nurse Practitioner opportunity available with Velocity Care-Westlake, and at alternate sites as needed. Velocity Care provides walk-in medical services for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries. ED or Urgent...
  1. Nurse Practitioner (NP) Hospice Gainesville, GA Northeast Georgia Health System
    Master's Degree NP - Nurse Practitioner RN - Registered Nurse 2 Years Experience Required Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is offering an exciting opportunity for a Nurse Practitioner! Our NPs plays an important role in the...
  2. Nurse Practitioner (NP) - Urgent Care Cincinnati, OH The Christ Hospital Health Network
  3. NURSE PRACTITIONER (NP) - Women's Health Service Line Cincinnati, OH The Christ Hospital Health Network
  4. Physician Assistant (PA) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) - First Assist Cincinnati, OH The Christ Hospital Health Network
  5. Nurse Practitioner Gallipolis, OH Holzer
    Masters prepared graduate of an accredited NP program ACLS and PALS certification preferred. CPR certification required. Current and proper licensure from the Ohio Board of Nursing Current certification as an ANP, FNP, or ACNP Current...
  6. Nurse Practitioner Gallipolis, OH Holzer
    Masters prepared graduate of an accredited PA/NP Program Current certification as an ANP, FNP, or ACNP EMR experience preferred Must be licensed as a PA or NP in the state of Ohio Prescriptive Authority is required and Active Ohio DEA...
  7. Nurse Practitioner Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Master's degree is required Certification Required Licensure Required Bilingual Speakers are encouraged to apply. Experience is required The Nurse Practitioner (NP) is responsible for providing primary care for a caseload of patients. As an...
  8. NP Inpatient Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    Nurse Practitioner opportunity to work with the Hospitalist group rotating in the Observation Unit at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. This state-of-the-art, 763-bed academic/tertiary referral center is part of Carilion Clinic, the largest...
  9. NP Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    Carilion Clinic has a regular part-time ( 24 hours/week) Nurse Practitioner opportunity available with Velocity Care in Roanoke, VA and at alternate sites as needed. Velocity Care provides walk-in medical services for non-life threatening...
  10. NP Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    Carilion Clinic has a full time Nurse Practitioner opportunity available with Velocity Care- Raphine. Velocity Care provides walk-in medical services for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries. Hours of operation are Monday- Saturday, 8...
  11. NP Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    Carilion Clinic has a regular part-time ( 24 hours/week) Nurse Practitioner opportunity available with Velocity Care in Blacksburg, VA and at alternate sites as needed. Velocity Care provides walk-in medical services for non-life threatening...
  12. NP Inpatient Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    Carilion Clinic is seeking a Nurse Practitioner to provide progressive care/ step down unit patient managment for Cardiothoracic Surgery. Hours will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday- 6am-6pm. Join an experienced, innovative team in a nationally...
  13. NP INPATIENT Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    Full time Hospitalist Nurse Practitioner opportunity at Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital. Located in Rocky Mount, Va this hospital offers a wide range of medical and surgical services. Fully accredited by the Joint Commission, it admits over...
  14. NURSE PRACTITIONER I Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    Nurse Practitioner opportunity to work with the Hospitalist group at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. This state-of-the-art, 763-bed academic/tertiary referral center is part of Carilion Clinic, the largest not-for-profit health system in...
  15. NP Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    Carilion Clinic has a full-time Nurse Practitioner opportunity available with Velocity Care-Westlake, and at alternate sites as needed. Velocity Care provides walk-in medical services for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries. ED or Urgent...