Nurse Practitioner Career
Nurse Practitioner: Nurse practitioners (NPs) are highly skilled advanced practice nurses who have completed a Master's Degree in Nursing. NPs have expertise in the diagnosis and management of common medical conditions. NPs can gain Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration, this allows them to prescribe certain medications to patients. Some NPs choose to open their own clinical practices others choose to specialize in one area of nursing.
Nurse Practitioners can become certified and gain the following credentials:
- Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP).
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP).
- Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP).
- Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP).
- Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP).
- Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (ANP/GNP).
- Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (P/MHNP).
The typical duties of a Nurse Practitioner include:
- Treating patients with non life threatening and critical illnesses.
- Examining patients.
- Monitoring diabetes and blood pressure.
- Writing prescriptions if DEA registered.
- Interpreting laboratory results, EKGs and X-rays.
- Diagnosing and referring patients to other health care professionals as required.
- Getting a patients medical history.
- Educating and counseling patients.
- Providing physical therapy.
Where they work: Nurse Practitioners can work in Community Care Centers, Urgent Care Centers, Home Health Care, Hospitals, Hospices, Nurse Practitioner Offices, Nursing Homes, Nursing Schools, Physicians Offices, Public Clinics and Health Departments.
Qualifications: To Become a Nurse Practitioner you must first qualify as a Registered Nurse (RN). Upon gaining experience as a registered nurse, you can then attend an advanced nursing education program, at an approved University. These programs usually specialize in a specific field of nursing e.g. Psychiatric/Mental Health, Women’s Health, Acute Care, or Family Practice. Nurse Practitioner courses can take one to two years to complete. Once graduated, a Nurse Practitioner will need to pass the licensing and certification examination of the state in which they wish to practice.
National Certification is offered by the following professional bodies:
American Nurses Credentialing Centre (ANCC), American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) National Certification Corporation (NCC), Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN).
Find a Nursing School near you: Use the Further Your Career zip code search box, to find schools and colleges in your area that offer nursing programs.
Below is a list of some of the various types of medical nurses / assistant nurses: