What is a Nurse Practitioner?
One of the main terms that will describe a nurse practitioner is based on the work that he or she is doing in a certain field or a certain area of expertise and specialization. A nurse practitioner is the advanced practice and registered nurse who usually gained more education and training across the years in a certain specialty, such as pediatrics or family practice and other age categories.
Their education consists of a master’s degree in the field of nursing, and could also be referred to as MS and a certification in their area of specialization. A pediatric nurse practitioner, for example, has to obtain advanced education, training, skills and practice in caring for different categories of children from infants and up to teenagers.
Job Description of a Nurse Practitioner
A nurse practitioner is the healthcare professional who will always work for helping others who are in great need for answers to their conditions and treatment for their state. A daily job routine for a nurse practitioner will involve various aspects of providing the right care of patients. Their role is to consult the patient to instruct him (or her) in what they need to do regarding their condition, as well as to instruct the families on what is the importance of living a healthy life.
Their job will also involve putting a clear diagnostic to certain illnesses, injuries, depressions and to draw up the lines for a treatment plan. These professionals can order tests, record the history of their patients and work as part of a team with other healthcare specialists, or individually if the setting allows that.
According to the area of specialization in all fifty states, NPs are allowed to prescribe medication, even though many duties and responsibilities can be found as being common, they will differ according to the line of specific specialization.
A patient who is in need for a better chance to life will be treated by this professional with a diligent care, compassion and involvement in each situation that will come in his or her path.
How to Become a Nurse Practitioner?
If your dream is to help others and you are used to being very open and sociable and you want to become a nurse practitioner, then here are some steps that you will have to follow in order to be one. It all starts in high schools by obtaining a high school degree and will continue with your decision of enrolment in an undergraduate college or university in order to pursue a degree. By applying for an accredited college, your chances of activating will grow in this field.
The main focus of the courses will involve the health part, where you’ll learn how to read laboratory tests correctly. For an entry-level position in a health setting such as a hospital or clinic, you’ll have to earn an associate’s degree based on nursing, where some of your classes will be comprised of learning about mental health. This happens because you’ll find cases on your path, individual care, as well as child and family care.
To increase your chances along the way, it is wise to pursue a bachelor’s of science degree in the field of nursing. This bachelor’s degree will prepare you to become a registered nurse, also known as RNs. The courses that are taken in this training program are based on subjects like pharmacology, mental health, psychiatric study, pediatric care and many others, which will help you become a great NP.
There will be many employers who will require the minimum educational level and that you have obtained a master’s degree. A graduate degree will allow you to increase the chances of obtaining a good job a lot, and become well paid in a specific specialization as well.
This Master’s degree in the field of nursing with the main focus on nurse practitioner practice will grant you the opportunity to encompass the entry level and head on to a certain specialization that was on your list for a long time.
The specializations offered extend on various areas of expertise in this field and in others as well, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, family care. The length of completing a master’s degree in nursing will vary according to each school, but it is usually of two years.
Another important step is to become a registered nurse, this involving to study in order to take and pass the NCLEX-RN also known as the National Council Licensure Examination. This exam will certainly make a huge difference. Try to pass the license exam after you’ve obtained an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Many states have their own requirements concerning the policy and terms of the license, so it would be wise to be informed from the state board of the area where you are.
Many positions where you want to apply for will ask for the license that you are supposed to have, so don’t hesitate to take the examination since it is important. If you are an international student who wants to work in the US or you’ll want to go and work overseas, be prepared to take the international equivalent of a license such as the CGFNS International.
Like in any other job, an important link that will allow you to become a successful nurse practitioner is the experience that you gain along the way of becoming a registered nurse. To obtain a registered nurse’s experience, you’ll need to find work in a setting on an entry level position that will allow you to do that. You can choose an entry level position of work in a clinical environment or a hospital.
This option is wise to follow after you’ve already obtained a bachelor’s degree or you are pursuing a master’s degree. This step serves to a higher purpose that will promote you into becoming a nurse practitioner.
After you’ve fulfilled all these educational levels, get the certification that is required in areas of specialization in addition to the license that you already possess. The certification examination is usually given by organizations such as AANP or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and other.
Work Environment and Schedule
Jobs can be found in a variety of settings, starting from fields such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, health departments, private practices, clinics and other facilities. A nurse practitioner schedule will vary according to the field in which one of these professionals can be encountered. For those working as NPs in inpatient settings, they will have to deal with working hours that include rotating shifts, evenings, nights, weekends not to mention holidays.
Another example related to the hours of work of a nurse practitioner can be found in the private practice. In the private setting, an NP usually has regular hours of work but sometimes this includes some weekend or evening appointments established with their clients. NPs can work on part time jobs as well, this allowing them to have more free time.
The work environment for an NP will be set on working all day with patients and interacting with them and their families, as well as other specialists. Their work is held in well-preserved conditions and settings with enough light. These experts will sometimes have to go to patients’ houses. If a nurse practitioner works in a hospital then his or her work will involve spending many hours on their feet, bending and lifting as well.
Working as an NP can be very rewarding and the salaries will vary according to numerous factors. The most common factor that can be encountered in the business market is the one based on the position that one NP has, as well as the responsibility they have during a work day. We are talking about responsibilities such as: using the skills that they possess to treat chronic or advanced cases, or (in other cases) performing a supervisory role in a hospital facility.
The tasks they are required to fulfil are defined by the type of facility in which they are working, because according to the position in which an NP works, the average salary will be estimated to go up to $95,010 per year according to the duties they must perform.
The annual average nurse practitioner salary is at about $94,585 per year, determined by the earlier mentioned factors and also by the level of education, the area of specialization, the demanding and the competitiveness that can be encountered any time on the business market.
Before starting to work, an important factor that makes the difference is the educational training that an individual acquired across the years of his or her studies. For example, an NP who possesses a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing will earn an average salary that is estimated to range between $84,010 and $85,010 per year. At the same time, the nurse practitioner who holds a master’s degree will earn an average salary comprised between $90,255 and even up to $97,487 (for those individuals who already obtained a doctoral degree).
The level of education will influence the type of facility in which you are working, since there are medical facilities that will require that an NP becomes specialized in a specific area or medical field in order to be hired. If you think you have some preferences, it is equally important that certain employers also have their preferences.
For example, an NP specialized in the field of the emergency department will earn an average salary that will reach $103,776, while those who are working in the field of neonatal care will earn an average salary of about $99,815 per year. A nurse practitioner who works in a general hospital will earn an average salary of $96,129 per year.
The location in which an NP was able to find work will influence the salary greatly. For example, in the case of an individual who is working in an urban area, the average salary is estimated to be much higher than for an individual who works in a rural part. Those who work in the suburban areas will make an average salary per year that will reach $92,293, compared to those who are working in a rural area and will gain only $88,166 per year.
One of the main disadvantages, when it comes to the average salary of an NP, is due to the gender of the employee. A male who works in this profession is estimated to reach a salary of $97,330 per year, while for a female working in this profession a salary will only be able to reach $89,939 per year.
But the career opportunities are in a massive growth since the demanding flux is not stopping, but there are many people who are in need for assistance and aid from these professionals instead. The salary will be slightly diverse and will also differ according to each state.
The top paying states for this position as an NP can be found in Alaska, Texas, California, Utah and others that will offer a lot of great job opportunities, as well as a good income. In Alaska, a nurse practitioner salary reaches $109,678 while in California a salary is estimated to reach $108,232 per year.
Nurse Practitioner Salary in Canada, Australia and UK
A nurse practitioner salary in Canada is estimated to range between CAD$47,015 and CAD$111,409, this involving a basic salary ranged between CAD$42,510 and CAD$103,154. Canada is also the country where a bonus is added that reaches CAD$24,659 for some of the professionals in this field.
The experience in this field is very important and with more years of practice the salary of an NP increases. For example, an NP who has more than three years of experience will earn an income that is comprised between CAD$45,770 and CAD$88,566, while for those with more than four years of experience the annual average salary is comprised between CAD$68,990 and CAD$93,484.
For an Australian NP, the salary is estimated to be reaching from AU$58,019 and up to AU$111,104. The annual average salary will be comprised between AU$71,470 and AU$100,804 per year, with a bonus granted of AU$1,279 and reaching up to AU$11,010.
The salary in this field can go up to AU$104,764 per year, especially if you are working in the healthcare industry that is one of the great providers.
In the UK for instance, the median salary for an NP is estimated to reach £32,524, while the basic salary is estimated to range between £13,283 and £40,652. This estimation was made without including the bonus that comes, and is of about £ 302.03. The individuals who work in this profession will earn, in London, a median salary that reaches £24,492.
Conclusion on Nurse Practitioner Salary
With the factors that influence the nurse practitioner salary, the position in the medical healthcare system remains very good. With the opportunity of continuous advancement and the number of cases that are growing, an income in this area is very bright.
The salary of a nurse practitioner is estimated to grow in the next ten years from the main average of $95,010 and up to the highest point that will bring a great balance in this future career opportunity, not to mention the stability that this job offers.