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Nurse Practitioner Programs
Anybody contemplating going back to college to earn more money has probably stumbled across some nurse practitioner programs. These programs prepare one to become a nurse practitioner, a nurse who has completed graduate work and can work as a primary care provider. These health care providers treat and diagnose in a holistic, patient-first fashion. To enter a nurse practitioner program, one must already be a registered nurse. Nurse practitioner programs will only accept those who have already completed a nursing degree and hope to go further in the nursing field.
Nurse practitioners often fill the gap left by overworked doctors. Of course, nursing is not for everybody, and not all nurses are ready to enter nurse practitioner programs. The occupation is even more intense and stressful than standard nursing. Long hours, constantly being on-call, and commanding less respect than doctors who do the same tasks are some of the pitfalls of the nurse practitioner field. In addition to nursing, nurse practitioners also diagnose diseases and can prescribe medications. They can treat mental and physical pain and diseases using patient histories and exams. Nurse practitioners are also qualified to order various medical tests and interpret the results to make a diagnosis.
What coursework Is Involved in Nurse Practitioner Programs?
Though there is a glut of nurse practitioner programs on the higher education market, not all of the programs are dependable. A reliable program will be registered with the board of higher education and students will qualify for government loans. Despite the rise in exclusively online higher education programs, nurse practitioner programs cannot be held entirely online. The nature of nursing requires face to face time with instructors and patients. Concepts and ideas can flow more freely in a real life environment. However, some programs rely on online courses to fulfill some course requirements. Administrators realize that nurses are already living busy lives, and attending class in a traditional class room is not always feasible. A combination of online and on-campus nurse practitioner programs is usually a good choice for a health care provider who is already enjoying a fast-paced career.
Other Requirements for Nurse Practitioner Programs
As employees in a unique profession, nurse practitioners often choose to join the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (also known as the AANP). This organization is a great starting point to track down reliable information on nurse practitioner programs. Most nurse practitioner programs require certification from the AANP or another certifying body. Another popular certifying body in America is the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Certification by either program requires at least a master’s degree from one of the many nurse practitioner programs. 2015 will bring new requirements, and all new nurse practitioners will have to hold a doctoral degree. Nurse practitioners who are already practicing need not worry about the new standards, as they will be grandfathered in with their current certifications. As soon as a program is completed, a nurse practitioner student can apply for a license in the state he or she plans to practice. Each state has different licensing requirements. Some require doctoral level education, while some only require a master’s degree.
Every nurse who considers entering a program should find information on the requirements of his or her state and be sure the program meets the standards. Like regular registered nurses, nurse practitioners educate patients and work with each patient to meet individual needs. Patients will often find that nurse practitioners are more attentive and focus more on the desires of the patient. Instead of just writing a prescription, nurse practitioners work with the patient to design a treatment plan together. This way, the patient plays an active role in his or her own health care. Despite the stresses, nurse practitioners have very rewarding careers. As one must already be a registered nurse to enter any of the qualified nurse practitioner programs, most students already have hectic schedules. Many qualified universities offer programs designed to work with complicated schedules. Nurse practitioners fill an important gap, and are a vital part of the health care system!