Career & Opportunities

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP)

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Written by Eddie Wood

How to become a nurse practitioner (NP) is the content of this article. With this article, you will learn how you can become a nurse practitioner(NP).

They could provide both primary and specialized care. How to become a nurse practitioner(NP) will be explained in this guide, including what they do, their salary, and more.

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

Adult-gerontology (AG), family nurse practice (FNP), neonatal, pediatrics, psychiatric, and women’s health are some of the specialty areas in which NPs are trained.

NPs work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, outpatient clinics, and community health centers to diagnose and treat patients.

An RN’s career advancement and NP earning potential can be increased by becoming a nurse practitioner.

Despite the fact that nurse practitioner training can take between two and six years to complete, graduates say it was well worth it.

Jobs for nurse practitioners are expected to grow by 52% between 2020 and 2030, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a median salary of $118,040.

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What Are the Duties of an NP?

NPs are health care providers who can prescribe medication, examine patients, order diagnostic tests, diagnose illnesses, and provide treatment in the same manner as physicians.

Having worked in the field as a nurse gives them a unique perspective on patient care, while their advanced studies allow them to perform additional tasks that are typically performed by physicians.

NPs can, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), provide 80-90% of the care that primary care physicians provide.

Salary of a Nurse Practitioner

US Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that as of May 2022, the median annual salary for nurse practitioners in the United States is $120,680, which is nearly twice the average annual salary for all other occupations.

About $30,000 more a year is the average annual salary for nurse practitioners compared to registered nurses, on average.

You’ll earn more than twice as much as an LPN every year if you become an NP.

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP)

To become an advanced practice registered nurse in their state, graduates must pass a national certification exam in their area of specialization.

Candidates for licensure as a nurse practitioner typically follow the following steps, which vary from state to state depending on concentration areas and program offerings.

1. Get your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree

A bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) is the first step toward becoming an NP.

The traditional four-year BSN program includes both general education and nursing-specific coursework, as well as clinical training.

RNs with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) can enroll in RN-to-BSN bridge programs to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN).

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and want to become a nurse, there are other fast-track options available.

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2. Pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses

Prospective The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) must be passed in order for RNs to be licensed.

The computerized exam includes up to 205 multiple-choice questions, as well as other question types, and it adjusts the difficulty of the questions based on how well the test-taker performs.

3. Gain Experience in Nursing

There are some nurses who choose to forgo this step and immediately enroll in a graduate program, while others prefer to work in the field for several years first.

4. Enroll in a Graduate Program (MSN OR DNP)

For RNs with a bachelor’s degree, the quickest path to becoming a nurse practitioner is to earn a master’s degree.

There are RN-to-MSN programs available for those with a diploma but no bachelor’s degree. ADN-to-MSN (Associate Degree in Nursing to Master’s) programs are also available.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs, the highest level of nursing education available, are offered by a few universities.

5. Practical Nursing is the Only way to Get Your Advanced Practice Nursing License.

Since each state sets its own requirements for NP licensure, you’ll need to look into what it takes to become one in the state where you intend to work.

NP licensure is also being discussed as a national model, but for the time being, it varies from state to state.

You can find a list of all the requirements for becoming a nurse practitioner in your state here, but be sure to double-check with the institution where you intend to enroll.

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6. Locate a Job

NPs can be employed in a wide range of environments.

Among the most sought-after places to work as an NP are the outpatient and inpatient departments of hospitals, as well as private practices and walk-in clinics.

As well as working in community health centers, corporate clinics, federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, and ERs, NPs are also employed in these other types of settings.

There are many hospitals that offer fellowship programs for NPs that pay them while they learn about various specialties with the possibility of employment at the end of the program.

As a recent graduate looking to break into the NP job market, these fellowships are an excellent option.

In Conclusion

Nurse practitioners (NPs) have more responsibilities and authority than registered nurses, but they perform many of the same tasks (RNs).

There will be a 52% increase in the number of jobs for NPs between 2020 and 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average annual salary for an advanced practice nurse (APN) is $123,780.

There are many ways to become a nurse practitioner, as well as a variety of specializations listed in this article.

About the author

Eddie Wood

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