Becoming a Nurse Practitioner

What is a nurse practitioner?
A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has received a master’s degree or a doctorate degree in a nursing. Nurse practitioners can perform many of the duties that a physician can perform such as performing physical exams and prescribing medications. They may work in collaboration with a physician or by themselves. Each state varies in its rules and regulations regarding what a nurse practitioner can and cannot do.

How do you become a nurse practitioner?
It takes at least six years to become a nurse practitioner. Before students can start graduate school, they must earn a bachelors of science in nursing and pass the NCLEX. Many people choose to go to graduate school right after they earn their bachelors degree while others choose to get experience in the nursing field. Nurse practitioners are required to choose an area of specialty and are required to pass the board exam before they are allowed to practice.

What are some of the different areas that a nurse practitioner can specialize in?
Pediatrics, oncology, women’s health and adult health are some of the areas that a nurse practitioner may specialize in. A pediatric nurse practitioner specializes in proving care for young children. An oncology nurse practitioner cares for cancer patients and their families. Women’s health nurse practitioner provides care for women including annual physical exams and contraceptive services.

Adult nurse practitioners specialize in diagnosing, treating and preventing health problems that may occur in adults. Travel nurse practitioners travel to provide care for their patients. They may also travel to areas that lack physicians. Certified nurse midwives care for women whose pregnancies are considered to be low-risk. Nurse anesthetists specialize in giving anesthesia during surgery and other medical procedures.

What is the Average Salary for Nurse Practitioners?
Nurse practitioners are the highest-paid registered nurses. The median salary for a nurse practitioner is around $70,000 dollars per year. Many nurse practitioners are making above $90,000 dollars per year. Nurse anesthetists and certified nurse midwives are among the highest paid nurse practitioners.

Other reasons to consider being a nurse practitioner
Nurse practitioners have the chance to earn a nice salary, but there are many other benefits that come along with this profession. Tuition reimbursement, paid vacation, medical benefits and flexible hours are just a few of the many benefits of becoming a nurse practitioner.