Nurse Practitioner Roles becoming more popular in the face of increased demand for healthcare industry professionals with full practice authority.
for the better are just some of the main reasons why nurses are choosing this role.
Nurse practitioners are currently experiencing a peak in demand across the US. The current primary care physician shortage means that advanced nurses like family nurse practitioners are stepping into more and more roles where they are required to provide primary care to patients in a wide variety of healthcare environments including hospitals, outpatient clinics, doctor’s offices, and their own clinics in states where they are permitted full practice authority.
The role of a nurse practitioner is one of the most advanced nursing roles in this career path. There are many reasons why registered nurses decide to become a nurse practitioner, including a desire to make a positive difference to the healthcare industry as a whole and the fact that this role comes with much more autonomy and responsibility compared to working as a registered nurse. Here are some of the main reasons why more registered nurses are deciding that this is the best career advancement opportunity for them.
Full Practice Authority:
In the majority of states, nurse practitioners who have completed NP training and are licensed to work in this role in their state are afforded full practice authority, which allows them to work independently from a primary care physician. As a result, nurse practitioners are often found working in hospitals, doctor’s offices, outpatient clinics, retail clinics, and other settings where they have the freedom and authority to diagnose patients, write prescriptions for treatments, refer patients to specialists, and more. For nurses who want a higher level of responsibility, more autonomy, and more freedom in their job, the role of a nurse practitioner is the perfect choice. In addition to working in a wide variety of healthcare settings, nurse practitioners are also permitted to set up their own clinics.
Various Speciality Areas:
All nurses have the opportunity to work in the areas that interest them the most. There are various different specialty areas in nursing, whether a nurse is interested in working with a certain patient population or wants to specialise in providing care to patients with certain healthcare issues, conditions, or diseases. As a nurse practitioner, nurses also have the option to specialize in a range of different areas. Working as a family nurse practitioner is the most common choice for nurse practitioners who are interested in getting into primary care. However, there are various specialty areas to choose from within this role including women’s health and more. Other speciality nurse practitioner roles include adult-gerontology, pediatric, psychiatric, and neo-natal.
One of the main reasons behind the growing number of nurse practitioners in the US healthcare industry today is that these professionals are in higher demand than ever before. With the US currently dealing with a situation where fewer medical students are opting to go into primary care or family practice, there is a shortage of primary care physicians that is causing problems for the aging general population. Nurse practitioners are professionals who are qualified and permitted in many states to step in and offer the same standard as care to primary care physicians. As a result of this, the demand for nurse practitioners is rising drastically, especially in rural and remote areas that have been hit the hardest by the primary physician shortage.
Continue in a Nursing Role:
Compared to many other nursing career promotions where nurses will often move away from the bedside and into a more administrative, managerial or educator role, the role of a nurse practitioner allows nurses to continue doing what they do best and working directly with patients, which is one of the main reasons why it is such a popular choice among registered nurses who are looking to progress in their careers. Many nurses feel called to this profession because they want to help others and enjoy working with people; being there for others is something that is very important for them, and this often becomes less of a focus in other advanced roles that nurses can get into. On the other hand, a nurse practitioner is able to help people even more in some instances.
Advocate for Patients:
In the healthcare industry, nurse practitioners currently have some of the loudest voices when it comes to advocating for their patients and improving healthcare policy. Nurse practitioners are often consulted by policymakers due to their unique access to patients and the experience that they have both as a registered nurse and in an advanced nursing role. Nurse practitioners are shaping the future of healthcare by improving the patient-centeredness and personalization of healthcare and influencing policies that are designed to ensure that all patients have the best access to the quality care that they need.
Improve Patient Care Quality:
Working as a nurse can often be frustrating when registered nurses are limited in what they can do to improve the quality of patient care. While most registered nurses will do as much as they can within the limits of their career role, many will want to do more. Most of these nurses will end up training to become a nurse practitioner, as this is a role that offers a much bigger opportunity to make a positive impact on patient care quality as a whole. Studies have found that nurse practitioners offer a standard of care that is equal in quality and efficiency to primary care physicians, and in some cases even more so due to their unique experience in nursing and holistic approach to treating their patients. Studies have found that patients who see a nurse practitioner as their primary healthcare provider tend to experience fewer hospital readmissions, fewer unnecessary visits to the doctor’s office and ER, and high patient satisfaction rates.
Flexible Study Options Designed for Nurses:
Another reason why more and more registered nurses are deciding to take the route of becoming a nurse practitioner is that training has become easier than ever thanks to flexible, online nurse practitioner degree programs that are designed with registered nurses in mind. Studying online is often the perfect choice for nurses who are still working full-time in a hospital or another healthcare setting. While there may be some clinical experience required as part of these training programs and students will need to meet deadlines and be available on certain exam dates, for the most part, it is much more flexible compared to studying on-campus. Most programs allow students to choose the best times for them when it comes to studying and completing lectures and classes, which can make it easier to fit the nurse practitioner program around working in a busy nursing career.
How to Become a Nurse Practitioner:
To work as a nurse practitioner, you will first need to train as and gain experience working as a registered nurse. While there are several options to do this, the best option is to get a BSN since most nurse practitioner programs will require this as a minimum qualification for entry. If you are currently working as a nurse but do not have a BSN, you can achieve this through a bridge program that is designed for current nurses such as the ADN-BSN bridge program designed to help nurses with an associate degree build on their current knowledge and experience to improve their qualifications.
Once you have a BSN, it’s usually required that you have a minimum number of years of nursing experience before you will be able to apply and get accepted to study on a nurse practitioner training program. This may vary between programs and the specialty area you are interested in working in as a nurse practitioner. If you want to work in a specialty area as a nurse practitioner, you may be required to gain a certain number of years’ experience working in that area as a registered nurse.
There are several online and on-campus training options for nurses that want to qualify and start working as a nurse practitioner. To work in this role, you will usually be required to obtain at least a master’s degree in nursing along with specific nurse practitioner training, which can be done as a part of the master’s degree or as a separate qualification after graduating.
Once you have graduated and gained the required qualifications, to be permitted to work as a nurse practitioner in your state you will need to get state licensure. This is obtained in a similar way to the NCLEX exam. There are several certifying and licensing bodies that provide licensing to nurse practitioners – this can vary by state, so it’s a good idea to do some research into the one that is applicable in your state and the exam that they require you to take. Once you have passed this exam, you will be able to find work as a nurse practitioner. Depending on your state, you may also have full practice authority.
Today, nurse practitioners are transforming the healthcare industry. High demand, more authority, and the option to change the healthcare industry for the better are just some of the main reasons why nurses are choosing this role.