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How Do I Become a Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse practitioners work in the health care field in order to take care of patients and educate them about their health needs. A nurse practitioner differs from a registered nurse in that they have received advanced training and have passed a rigorous training program in order to diagnose illnesses and prescribe medication. If you have an interest in health care, then you may be asking yourself, “How do I become a nurse practitioner?” If so, then read on to discover more about this exciting field.

What’s it like to be a nurse practitioner?

A nurse practitioner’s career can vary depending upon their area of specialization and the location in which they work. In most areas, people who become a nurse practitioner are able to work either under the guidance of a physician or independently when treating patients. Nurse practitioners typically see several different patients over the course of a day. They are responsible for diagnosing, treating and prescribing medicine for patients who have health concerns. They must also be able to communicate with patients and their families about treatment plans and other medically relevant information. Because working with sick patients can sometimes be stressful, anyone who wants to become a nurse practitioner should be patient, compassionate and well-organized.

What type of education is required to become a nurse practitioner?

Anyone who would like to become a nurse practitioner is encouraged to first pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This process usually takes approximately four years to complete. Once a person has graduated from an accredited nursing program, then they will need to complete a licensing exam in order to become a registered nurse. A quality educational program will often include special preparation courses that are designed to help students to pass the clinical exam. Most people work as a registered nurse for a period of time in order to gain some experience in the health care field before pursuing their advanced degree.

Nurse practitioners are required in most areas to have completed advanced coursework in nursing before they are able to become a licensed nurse practitioner. This involves completing a master’s degree or higher in the nursing field. Most advanced degrees take approximately two years to complete and include working within the medical field in clinical rotations. During their master’s program, nurse practitioners select an area of specialization in which they would like to focus on for their studies.

What is the career outlook for a nurse practitioner?

Nurse practitioners are in high demand in the medical field today. After graduating from an advanced nursing program, nurse practitioners can expect to find work in hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation centers. Some nurse practitioners even open their own medical practice and independently treat patients. A beginning nurse practitioner can expect to earn an average salary of $90,000 or more a year. In order to obtain the best career position, nurse practitioners should choose an area of specialization that will offer them a greater chance of employment opportunities. They should also take advantage of any internships or volunteer opportunities that are available to them while they are in school as this can help them to gain valuable experience that can help them to be competitive when applying for positions as a nurse practitioner.

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