Nurse practitioners are a combination of nursing and medicine, which effectively bridges the gap between registered nurse RN and doctor, and preliminary patient care and cure. They work alongside doctors in private medical practices or independently in hospitals and clinics, as well as for corporations, major medical insurers or in military government service. Nurse practitioners perform comprehensive and complex duties that were once carried out only by doctors, which includes assessing the medical history of patients by obtaining medical histories, performing physical examinations and conducting preventative tests; evaluating health and diagnosing illnesses and diseases through medical histories and diagnostic testing; developing and administering patient health care plans; and writing drug prescriptions. Nurse practitioner programs in Texas offer highly skilled professionals the opportunity to advance their careers past the RN certification and play a central role in the state’s medical community. Online nurse practitioner programs in Texas require RN candidates who can work and study with a high degree of independence, in addition to the capability to demonstrate sound judgment and maturity, while inspiring and showing compassion to both peers and patients during onsite study requirements.
General State-Specific Requirements
Comparatively, Texas nurse practitioners are among the most highly regulated nurses in the country. Nurse practitioner programs in Texas are governed by legislative statutes, which state medical physicians may work in collaboration with no more than three nurse practitioners, that one physician must work at the same facility as the nurse practitioner at least 20 percent of the time, and the physician’s primary work site must not be more than 60 miles from facilities in which collaborating nurse practitioners are working. These regulations may be relaxed during times of medical physician shortages, referred to as “underserved areas” and clinics under contract with the state of Texas. In medically underserved areas, physicians are required to work onsite with nurse practitioners at least once every 10 days. Traditional nurse practitioner programs in Texas and online nurse practitioner programs in Texas are licensed by the Texas Board of Nursing BON, which requires validation of continuing competency for relicensing. According to BON, its mission is to “protect and promote the welfare of the people of Texas by ensuring that each person holding a license as a nurse in the State of Texas is competent to practice safely.” Recertification guidelines require Texas nurse practitioners to complete 20 contact hours of continuing nursing education CNE within their area of practice every two years. CNEs are defined by the Texas BON as “programs beyond the basic nursing preparation that are designed to promote and enrich knowledge, improve skills, and develop attitudes for the enhancement of nursing practice, thus improving health care to the public.”
Benefits of Nursing Practitioner Degrees
The benefits of traditional nurse practitioner programs in Texas and online nurse practitioner programs in Texas include higher levels of professional autonomy and job satisfaction as a result of having the capability to provide comprehensive and long-term patient care. In addition, nurse practitioners have a higher earnings potential, which is approximately $72,000 to $100,000 or more per year depending on experience, medical specialty and the practice or clinic. Because nurse practitioners in Texas can practice independently as stated by statutes of the Nurse Practice Acts, they have the benefit of being able to open their own practices. Nurse practitioners have the option of continuing their education to complete a Masters in Nursing and earning the Family Nurse Practitioner FNP designation. FNPs evolved from a medical need to provide more accessible care to children, and give designees greater opportunities for enhanced professional independence, job satisfaction, authority and income. According to the Texas Board of Nursing, graduates of nurse practitioner programs in Texas and online nurse practitioner programs in Texas are afforded the opportunity to develop their own advanced nursing practices in response to the state’s changing health care delivery system. Nursing practitioner degrees enable recipients to perform key roles in the transformation of the medical community, as the number of physicians entering the medical industry is declining. Therefore, as health care needs grow and become more diverse and complex, the need for qualified nurse practitioners will continue growing.
Texas Nursing Practitioner Career Opportunities
Nurse practitioner programs in Texas and online nurse practitioner programs in Texas provide career opportunities for adult and Family Nurse Practitioners FNPs, which supply primary medical care to individuals, families and groups; Gerontological Nurse Practitoners GNPs, which provide primary health care for older adults, including functional and psychosocial needs; Pediatrics Nurse Practitioners PNPs, who provide care to well and ill children, adolescents and infants; Neonatal Nurse Practitioners NNPs who specialize in the advanced care of newborns in hospital neonatal intensive care units NICUs; Nurse-Midwifery Practitioners NMW, who offer specialized and primary care to antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum patients in clinics, birthing centers and hospitals; and Nurse Anesthetists CRNAs, which is an advanced nursing profession specializing in the administration of anesthesia to patients undergoing surgeries and medical surgeries performed in hospitals.
Professional Nursing Organizations
Graduates of nurse practitioner programs in Texas and online nurse practitioner programs in Texas have the ability to take advantage of the benefits provided by Texas and national professional nursing organizations, such as the Texas Nursing Association, the Texas Organization of Nurse Executives and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The Texas Nurses Association TNA is the oldest professional nursing association in Texas, with members representing all segments of the nursing industry who are committed to advancing excellence in the nursing profession through involvement and leadership. The Texas Organization of Nurse Executives TONE is dedicated to improving healthcare through innovation and collaboration by representing leaders in the nursing profession. The organization provides educational nurse practitioner programs in Texas, as well as activities that develop management skills. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing AACN is a nation-wide, leading advocate for establishing quality standards in nurse practitioner programs, in addition to improving nursing standards, practices, research and federal legislation.