Nurse Practitioners

Everything You Need to Know About Being a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners (NPs), or Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNPs), are advanced practice nurses who have acquired knowledge and skills beyond the regular RN and provide care to patients throughout their lives, from premature newborns to the elderly.  They are educated at the master’s level or higher and offer a wide variety of nursing and health care services to a wide variety of patients. Nurse practitioners often work under a physician but can diagnose many acute and chronic diseases and recommend appropriate treatment plans, including prescribing medications in some states. Nurse practitioners may specialize in a particular area, such as family practice, adult practice, women’s health, pediatrics,  or mental health. They must be board certified in a particular area and practice within that scope of expertise. In some cases, the nurse practitioner may serve as a patient’s primary health care provider. Nurse practitioners may also conduct research or participate in patient advocacy activities.

Preparation Path

  • GET YOUR BSN
  • PASS YOUR NCLEX AND BECOME AN RN
  • WORK AS A STAFF NURSE IN YOUR SPECIALTY OF INTEREST
  • EARN YOUR MSN
  • WORK AS A NURSE PRACTITIONER
  • BECOME BOARD CERTIFIED IN YOUR SPECIALTY AREA (VOLUNTARY)

$70,000 - $120,000

Annual Salary Range

Typical Tasks

  • Taking patient histories
  • Ordering diagnostic and laboratory tests and analyzing results
  • Performing physical exams
  • Prescribing medications
  • Providing preventative care and immunizations
  • Referring patients to specialists
  • Counseling patients and their families
  • Researching healthcare topics

 

Education Requirements

BSN, MSN

Employment Settings

  • Public hospitals and military hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Private practices
  • Physicians’ offices
  • Managed care organizations
  • Companies (technology, pharmaceutical, etc.)
  • Community health centers
  • Schools

 

Certification

Certification in CPR or Basic Life Support, plus board certification in your specialty area if desired