What does a Nurse Practitioner do?
A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse but with advanced classroom training and clinical education. A nurse practitioner is referred to as an advanced practice registered nurse or APRN. In simple words, a nurse practitioner is a registered nurse but with more education, training, and responsibilities than a general nurse.
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How to Become a Nurse Practitioner
An aspiring nurse practitioner must attain a master’s degree or doctorate degree in nursing or nursing practice. After graduating with a master’s or a doctorate degree in nursing, the person must pass the national board-certifying exam in order to practice.
You can go right through school and get your bachelor’s degree in nursing and continue on with your master’s degree. You can also become a registered nurse first in as little as two years, gain experience, then continue your education to become a nurse practitioner. To gain a bachelor’s degree in nursing or learn more check out our article on becoming a registered nurse.
Job Description of a Nurse Practitioner
The job profile of a nurse practitioner is quite expansive, particularly in comparison with a registered nurse. A nurse practitioner is expected to be trained to attend to patients with complicated medical problems. A nurse practitioner could also be an integral member of surgery teams that engage in complicated procedures. A nurse practitioner would be trained and experienced in diagnosing medical conditions, prescribing medications, conducting tests, interpret test results, and carrying out medical procedures including but not limited to emergency care, anesthesia, and administering medicines.
A nurse practitioner is expected to be decisive and should have the ability to make on the spot decisions. One is also expected to either advice or concur with doctors and surgeons in certain circumstances. A nurse practitioner is often made in charge of a patient and he or she would directly report to the doctor or surgeon under whose care the patient is.
A person who is qualified to be a nurse practitioner can also be a nurse anesthetist or a nurse midwife among others and a nurse practitioner may work in a private clinic, health care center, or hospital.