This is a comprehensive report about a nurse practitioner job description and career.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses who completed an advanced clinical education and training. They can either work independently or with the collaboration of other health care providers. Because of their additional training and experience, nurse practitioners are able to provide different health care services, such as caring for patients, prescribing medications, and even performing clinical procedures.
Nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings, including:
- Health Centers
- Nursing Homes
- Walk-in Clinics
- Community Clinics
- Palliative Care Clinics
- Elderly Care Centers
- Schools and Universities
Nurse Practitioner Job Description
The nurse practitioner job description mainly involves providing general care to individuals of all ages – from infants to elderly. Nurse practitioners are trained through advanced education in order to provide primary care and meet the health needs of their patients. They use the comprehensive approach to promote health, illness prevention, and boost the overall well being of the families and communities.
With their advanced skills and knowledge, NPs are allowed to perform various healthcare duties, including:
- Recording family history of patients
- Giving basic health care treatments
- Prescribing medications
- Giving referrals to other health care specialists and services
- Assisting other doctors and physicians
- Ordering and performing necessary laboratory tests and procedures
- Educating patients about healthy lifestyle
- Conducting patient counseling, such as preventing diseases and family planning
In addition to providing a broad range of healthcare duties, it is also part of the nurse practitioner job description to help patients to access medical aid and social services that they may need.
Additional Information About Nurse Practitioner Job Description
Nurse practitioners are licensed to practice in all 50 states in the US. However, their duties and scope of practice depends on state laws. In some states, nurses are not authorized to provide complicated health care services, such as prescribing medications and performing medical procedures. Only licensed physicians can perform complicated care. In a few states however, they can practice and perform these duties.
Become a Nurse Practitioner
Like many other professions, you must first take and complete certain requirements to become a qualified nurse practitioner. The first step is to obtain a degree in Bachelor of Science in Nursing and pass the licensure examination for nursing. Once you have completed the course and become a registered nurse, you have to enroll in a master’s degree program and take a national certification exam. Depending on the program, you are required to have at least a minimum of 1 year nursing experience and complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) before you can take the master’s degree in nursing.
The requirements for national certification may vary from state to state. The examination for nurse practitioners is given to assess your skills when it comes to overall managing of illnesses and caring for your patients.
Before taking the exam, you should know and understand first the requirements needed. For more information, visit the organizations that offer national certification, such as the American Nurses’ Association and American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
With the growing demand in patient’s care, medical-related jobs, such as nurse practitioners, are considered necessary. The Association of American Medical Colleges reported that the US will soon be facing a national shortage of doctors. The estimated number of shortage will be at least 90,000 primary care physicians by the year 2020, which will be expected to increase up to 130,000 by 2025. [See source]
This shortage opens up an opportunity for nurse practitioners to practice their profession. Since 60 to 80 percent of healthcare services are performed by nurse practitioners, they will be employed by institutions and hospitals to fill this gap. Pursuing this profession is very rewarding since nurses are highly needed in any medical industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nurse employment is expected to grow for up to 26 percent in 2020. [See source]
Nurse Practitioner Salary
The salary of nurse practitioners may vary depending on their working schedule and scope of practice. But according to a recent national survey, the average salary of nurse practitioners working full time is $93,032. [See source]
If you think you qualify and meet the nurse practitioner job description, pursuing a career a nurse is a definitely a great choice.