Today’s world is seeing a major shortage with workers in the healthcare sector. An attractive position in medicine is a nurse practitioner. This professional combines clinical experience in diagnosing and treating health problems with an extra emphasis on prevention and management of diseases. If you are interested in this type of career, it is important to have some questions answered regarding education requirements and job prospects.
What Skills are Necessary for a Nurse Practitioner?
As a nurse practitioner, you will be responsible for patient care. You should develop solid relationships with individuals and should possess a number of skills.
- Ethics. As with any healthcare provider, you will deal with ethical decisions each day as a nurse practitioner. For example, you will be faced with insurance issues and end of life care. You will need to master the ethical standards and practices in the healthcare world.
- Communication. Throughout the day of a nurse practitioner, communication is key. You will need to develop trusting relationships with patients and be able to uncover problems. When solutions are possible, you must explain the pros and cons of each option. Your nonverbal communication is just as important. In other words, you must show that you are listening and attempting to improve the quality of life for your patients.
- Flexibility. Each day in the life of a nurse practitioner is different. Emergencies strike at all times, so you must be flexible and willing to bend your routine.
What Degrees Do You Need?
According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, there are two basic requirements for this career path. First, a candidate must have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Next, he or she must finish a “Master of Science” program or a “Doctor of Nursing” program. Nurse practitioners are taught to practice holistic treatments. This means that they target a person’s mental, physical, and social needs.
MSN Versus DNP
MSN students are taught to deliver client practice and patient care. On the other hand, DNP students concentrate on research within healthcare and policies with patient care. If you are interested in taking a leadership role, a DNP is the degree that you will need.
Do You Need Any Certifications?
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program and the American Nurses Credentialing Center offer nationally recognized certification programs.
It is possible to specialize in a particular area of discipline. For example, you can choose to become a family practitioner, a pediatric primary care practitioner, or an adult gerontology practitioner.
How Long Does Nurse Practitioner Training Take?
To begin the process, you will need to have your RN license. From this point, it will take approximately two years to complete an MSN program. To become a DNP, it may take three to six years. To explain, the difference in time depends on your individual program of study, the specialty that you select, and other factors. Also, it is important to remember that certain programs require numerous clinical hours. Luckily, there are online programs available to complete this type of degree. However, it is essential to select an accredited program.
How Much Will You Earn as a Nurse Practitioner?
One of the perks that comes with being a nurse practitioner is the salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a nurse practitioner each year is $117,670. However, certain factors influence this pay, including your degree. Your experience, specialty, and location make a difference as well.
What are the Job Prospects as a Nurse Practitioner?
The Center for Workforce Studies reports that jobs within the healthcare field are estimated to grow by 30 percent over the next decade. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that approximate 45,000 new positions for nurse practitioners will open over the next two years. The skills of nurse practitioners will become increasingly necessary in the medical community. Therefore, more and more positions will become available into the long-term.
How to Find Work as a Nurse Practitioner
There is a current nursing shortage, which means that nurse practitioners are in demand. However, if you are in this field, you may still need to compete with other individuals for top jobs. One way to find good employment and to stand out is to join a professional nursing organization. This provides you with a chance to meet other nurses and mentors. If your college has an alumni association, this may be a good resource for potential employment as well. Jobs are open in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. Some states allow nurse practitioners to open their own offices as well.