When you have trained as a registered nurse, there are many career advancement options open to you, many of which go far beyond a role in healthcare alone.
Indeed, many people who have been working as registered nurses in a hospital ward for many years may want to either break out on their own or have a more active role in the diagnostic procedure for patients, as well as having a greater influence on patient healthcare outcomes.
With this in mind, you may have considered training as a nurse practitioner, which is a natural advancement from a standard registered nursing role and can help you expand your career horizons and your knowledge of nursing and medicine.
And while there is additional training involved to train for this role, there are many benefits to be had as well.
In this article, the core advantages of becoming a nurse practitioner will be explored, so you can decide whether or not this is the next career move that you want to take in your nursing role.
What is A Nurse Practitioner?
But first, for clarity, it is important to explore what a nurse practitioner is. They are advanced practice registered nurses who are trained to assess patient needs, interpret diagnostic laboratory tests, and prescribe medications and treatment plans.
They will have trained as a registered nurse and typically will have around 5 to 10 years of experience working in this area and will have completed online nurse practitioner programs from the University of Indianapolis or a similar nursing university to complete something equivalent to a master’s degree in the science of nursing.
Nurse practitioners can set up their clinical practice or can work in collaboration with doctors and other healthcare professionals. Still, they often have a more managerial role than a standard registered nurse.
But with this additional responsibility come the core benefits, which will be discussed here.
If you are fed up with working 12-hour shifts on a ward, then it may be time to consider training as a nurse practitioner.
There is always a need for nurse practitioners, meaning that you, as a newly qualified one gets to decide whether you would like to work the traditional 9 to 5 shift or do overnight shifts.
You will also be more able to choose the setting in which you work, and many nurse practitioners can work in private practices, hospitals, schools, or even research facilities.
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You will also have a greater level of control over your professional practice, and, as mentioned before, you will be able to not only choose when and where you work but how you work.
Do you want to work with more patients independently, or would you prefer to work in a hospital setting with more of a collaborative approach? There is a real need for medical experts in rural settings across the United States, so if you have always wanted to work in the countryside, so to speak, this is something that you could consider when you train as a nurse practitioner.
You could even open up your practice in one of these areas and provide a greater range of healthcare than you would ever be able to do in the city.
Impacting Patient Outcomes
It is fair to say that a standard registered nurse working on a ward will undoubtedly have an impact on the patients who are under their care. However, a nurse practitioner can provide more individualized and personal care to their patients and thus will have a greater impact on the outcomes.
You would be responsible for helping to educate patients on the prevention of ailments via healthy lifestyles or medications, as well as spending more time working one to one with patients to build a rapport with them.
Indeed, many nurse practitioners are also able to prescribe medications, meaning that you can take the time to understand what your patient’s needs are and work with them to find a balance between medication and holistic therapies that work.
The Role Is Needed
Since 2020, the majority of people have been aware that the role of nursing has been undersubscribed and that there are more nurses needed than ever before due in part to an aging population and population growth the world over.
By 2030, it is estimated that nurse practitioners will see a 52% increase in their demand, and as nurse practitioners are vital to primary in acute care settings, you will never be out of work.
This also allows you to consider what kind of role within this area to undertake. As mentioned before, there are collaborative areas of care in hospital settings or more managerial-based ones, both of which need to be filled by nurse practitioners.
Training as a nurse practitioner allows you to train in other areas of nursing, and you are not limited to working solely in a clinical setting.
You could indeed be involved in the undertaking of medical research, educating other nurses alongside nurse educators, or hold a medical-related corporate position, which can help you impact the guidelines which are required for great patient care.
As mentioned before, there is also the very real possibility that you will be able to set up your clinic yourself in a managerial role.
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And finally, one of the areas that most people are interested in when looking into training as a nurse practitioner is the pay. It has a competitive salary, and in 2021, the annual salary for a nurse practitioner in the United States is among the top 5% in the country.
It’s worth noting that this will vary based on the place where you work, your education level, and your specialty. But this role certainly pays well.
These are just some of the advantages of training as a nurse practitioner. Still, as is the way with nursing in general, if you’ve ever wanted to make a difference in the lives of multiple people, then this is something you should consider expanding into.