Nursing jobs and nursing schools

Nurse Practitioner Jobs

Nurse Practitioner jobs can be both personally rewarding and professionally enriching as a career option. These jobs offer the chance to work hands-on with patients as well as with doctors and other nurses. As advanced practice nurses, Nurse Practitioners provide high-quality healthcare services similar to those of a doctor. They diagnose and treat health problems using an approach that stresses both care and cure. Besides clinical care, NPs also focus on health promotion, disease prevention, patient health education, and counseling.

Nurse Practitioner jobs are some of the most high-demand positions in the medical industry. The ongoing shortage of nursing professionals fuels this need for Nurse Practitioners, and this gives NPs a strong bargaining power almost anywhere in the country. Industry trends indicate that nurses with advanced practice specialties — Nurse Practitioners, Nurse-Midwives, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Nurse Anesthetists — will be highly sought after, particularly in inner cities and rural areas that are traditionally underserved. This leads to differences in Nurse Practitioner salaries.

Responsibilities and duties

Nurse Practitioners serve as providers of both primary and specialty care, offering nursing and healthcare services to patients. Nurse Practitioners diagnose and treat patients, whether their illness is acute, episodic, or chronic. Working independently or as part of a healthcare team, NPs focus on disease prevention. They may order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and X-rays, as well as prescribe medication. Nurse Practitioner jobs will have many different duties, depending on the patients served and work location. However, almost all Nurse Practitioners diagnose and treat a very wide range of health problems.

As mid-level providers, NPs work with patients either as part of a physician practice, even treating patients in their own office. Many Nurse Practitioners choose to open their own office, and act as primary care providers similar (and sometimes in direct competition) with physician PCPs.

Education required for Nurse Practitioner jobs

To get started as a NP, you will need to have the right education. All of the four categories of advanced practice nurses require at least a master's degree. In addition, each state defines requirements for Registered Nurses in advanced practice positions. Advanced practice nurses may prescribe medicine, but the authority to prescribe varies from one state to the next. Upon achieving RN status, you can then enter a Nurse Practitioner program and work on becoming a Nurse Practitioner.

Where to find Nurse Practitioner jobs

Nurse practitioner jobs can be found anywhere there is a need for medical care. NPs practice in rural, urban, and suburban communities working in hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care sites, clinics, and for private physician or Nurse Practitioner practices. Nurse Practitioners might choose to enter the home health industry or work in a nursing home. Schools and colleges also have a need for NPs, as do health departments in all areas.

Other resources

AANP: The AANP offers more information about education and other requirements for nurse practitioner jobs.

Becoming a nurse practitioner introduces the process and requirements for becoming a nurse practitioner.

BLS: The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers information about nurse practitioners as well as other nursing careers.

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