Become a Nurse Practitioner


October 24th, 2010

If you are seeking a career in nursing, a great occupation to aspire to become is that of a nurse practitioner. A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse – someone that possesses further clinical independence as well as enjoys additional authority. This type of freedom goes beyond the basic responsibilities of most registered nurses. Similar to many physicians, nurse practitioners are able to diagnose and treat patients. And while it is done at a reduced rate than physicians, they can also bill health insurers for things such as office time and procedures. This makes a nurse practitioner a direct revenue producer for practices and hospitals. This piece of information is important as it produces an extended amount of job security over other types of nurses, along with giving you the opportunity to earn a higher salary. One of the real advantages of nurse practitioners are that they let a medical practice care for more patients while becoming more proficient minus tallying a balanced total of operating expenses to the practice.

The one debate about all of this freedom practitioners are granted comes down to those in the medical community believing these nurses fill a void created by a developing lack of physicians, compared to others that believe nurse practitioners shouldn’t possess the amount of independence equivalent to a physician. It comes down to the education both receive, and it can be seen as belittling all the years of school a physician attends to earn their title and responsibilities when a nurse practitioner – someone that has a had less of an education as well as training – is assisting a similar number of patients.

The end result is that state by state, different rules and regulations are in place clearly dictating the amount of independence a nurse practitioner has. This means that when you are looking for employment and this type of freedom matters to you – which it should since it determines the amount of work you will be able to do – be sure you have a solid understanding of the state’s position on this topic. If you’re not careful you could end up in a place where everything you do – diagnoses, prescriptions, and procedures – will need to be signed off by a physician. These types of restrictions can leave you hand-cuffed when you are trying to treat a patient in need. When you possess the freedom to help others in need, you are able to completely focus on that particular patients’ needs and are not bothered with protocol, giving you the opportunity to improve the lives of millions.

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