Becoming an Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Fills a Medical Void

During the past 40 years, more than 140,000 medical professionals have become nurse practitioners, and a great many of these have chosen primary care. In fact, quite a few Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioners work solo providing all-too-necessary medical services to poor urban neighborhoods as well as remote rural settings where finding a doctor in private practice is close to impossible.

Medical Service Delivery Through Nurses Has Increased Dramatically

The type and level of medical service delivered by nurses has exploded during the last decade. Also, the pool of primary care doctors has dwindled drastically, thus creating a need for family medicine practitioners that has never been more demanding than it is right now. Furthermore, when many essential points concerning the federal health care reform law come into place in 2014, experts predict about 32 million people that do not now have coverage will be capable to secure insurance coverage. However, more people possessing insurance coverage will compel more people to seek medical counsel and this will further exacerbate the challenge for finding primary care resources. According to the American Medical Association, the challenge that exists presently is a shortage of approximately 91,000 physicians, of which half would be primary care practitioners. Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioners (APCNP) will be playing a much more visible role partnering with primary care physicians throughout the country, helping to fill the expected void.

A Good Career Path Choice
Registered nurses seeking a career option offering a stimulating medical practice environment, full of lots of challenge with a great degree of autonomy will find becoming an APCNP quite rewarding. An Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioner`s responsibilities include many duties once only performed by physicians. Some of these include patient examinations, going over medical history, diagnosing and treating injuries and infections, ordering and examining diagnostic tests, as well as writing prescriptions. With a little closer examination, we can see some of the tasks performed by Nurse Practitioners regularly

More Post-Graduate Education is Necessary
Becoming an APCNP typically requires a Master’s Degree in Nursing. Normally, someone who wants to be an APCNP will first attend an undergraduate school of nursing, where they will earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing also obtaining license as a registered nurse. RNs generally work for a period of two or more years prior to entry into an Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioner graduate program. The program itself will vary in length from 1-2 academic years, depending on the nature of the program and the school which is chosen.

Are Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioners Nurses First?

There are some programs available for individuals who have completed a Baccalaureate degree, but who are not registered nurses. These programs are longer in length than the standard Master’s program, result in eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse, and also for eligibility in sitting for the certification boards as an NP. Generally these programs are very selective in which candidates they will take for entry into their programs.

What is the Job Like?

Typically, Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioners partner with a physician and, in many instances, perform the exact same duties that a licensed doctor performs. This can be a wonderful opportunity to help individuals achieve optimal potential health. The job is diverse, ever-challenging, and ever-changing. The cons: the job is diverse, ever-challenging, and ever-changing. The level of stress, especially for novice clinicians, can be very high, as decisions made can have significant impact upon person’s health and well-being. This can result in continuing high levels of anxiety. It is a position which requires a great deal of autonomy, decision-making ability, logical reasoning, and the ability to reach a conclusion on what to do under what may be difficult circumstances.

Earning Potentials Vary by Geography
Earning potential for an Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioner will vary depending upon the location and size of the practice/facility employed. However, an average annual salary for an APCNP is about $80,000 with the top five percent earning up to $170,000. With the expected increase in demand for primary medical care, the coming decade will find a great demand for APCNPs that should result in increased compensation as well. The job, unlike NPs working at hospitals or clinics, will never be a Monday through Friday, 9-5 job. Aspects of being involved in primary care include being “on-call,” needed to deliver services to patients requiring consultation and care well after typical daylight working hours. Additionally, time needs to be spent attending medical conferences and consulting a great amount of reading to stay current with practices and new technologies.