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Demand for Nurse Practitioners

If there was ever a prime time to become a nurse practitioner, it’s now. As registered nurses (RNs) who have attended a nurse practitioner program and obtained their master’s in nursing degree and are trained to diagnose and manage common medical conditions, nurse practitioners (NPs) fulfill a pivotal role in the healthcare industry. While more and more physicians shift their focuses towards specialized practices instead of primary care and patient loads increase, there is both a shortage in available health care and a demand for nurse practitioners that can supply their highly specialized skills to our society.

But what makes NPs so special that they’re the ones who best fill these needs? For starters, nurse practitioners are more highly educated and able to perform more procedures today than any time in the last four decades.

They’re able to make a difference in the lives of others, and as the industry moves more towards a system concentrated on promoting health and wellness, the philosophy of the nurse practitioner is a vital asset to any hospital, doctor’s office, nursing home, school, or health center.

Nurse Practitioners are Everywhere

One of the primary perks of becoming a nurse practitioner is that you’ll have the ability to choose from quite a large selection of professional settings when it comes to deciding what area you’d like to work in. Here are just some of the work environments where Nurse Practitioners can be found:

  • Public health departments
  • Community clinics and health centers
  • Health departmentsNursing homes
  • Physician offices
  • Nursing schools Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
  • Home health care agenciesSchool/college clinics
  • Hospitals and hospital clinics
  • Hospice centers
  • Nurse practitioner offices
  • Private offices
  • Veterans
  • Administration facilities
  • Walk-in clinics

Tasks and Job Responsibilities of Nurse Practitioners

So now that you’re aware of the variety of environments that NPs can be found in, you may be wondering what it is that nurse practitioners actually do. Here are just some of the tasks and responsibilities that nurse practitioners lend their talents to on a daily basis:

  • Take patient’s history
  • Administer physical exams
  • Counsel and educate patients
  • Give prescriptions and coordinate referrals
  • Order, perform, and interpret diagnostic studies like lab tests, x-rays, and EKGs
  • Diagnose, treat, and manage acute and chronic diseases
  • Order appropriate laboratory tests and procedures
  • Diagnose, treat, and manage acute and chronic diseases
  • Provide prescriptions and coordinate referrals
  • Order, perform, and interpret diagnostic studies like lab tests, x-rays, and EKGs
  • Provide prenatal care and family planning services
  • Provide well-child care, including screening and immunizations
  • Provide health maintenance care for adults, including annual physicals

Nurse Practitioner Salaries

With the high demand for NPs and the great set of skills that they bring to the table, nurse practitioners enjoy a fairly lucrative salary PayScale.com shows that the average annual full-time salary for a nurse practitioner ranges anywhere between $68,000 to $90,000; but NPs are able to earn even more in an independent practice setting.

Of course, education and salary correlate in a huge way in the healthcare industry. As NPs further their education and add more knowledge and skills to their professional resume, they are able to command even higher salaries from employers. This explains why enrollment in nurse practitioner schools has continued to rise over the past few years.

Choose Your Nurse Practitioner Career Path

Another great aspect of a career as a nurse practitioner is that you’ll be able to pick from a variety of specialty areas to work in, including:

  • Acute Care
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Nurse Practitioner
  • College Health
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Gerontology or Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Community or Public Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Dermatology
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Holistic Health Nurse
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • School Nurse

Move Towards Your Future as a Nurse Practitioner

The nurse practitioner position represents what almost everyone wants out of a job; it’s a well-respected title, it allows you to earn a comfortable wage and you get to make a difference in the lives of others every day. With rising job opportunities, now is the best time to dive into this world and take the steps towards starting your dream career Now is the time – find the nurse practitioner school that’s right for you.