Nurse Practitioner Program Prerequisites And Specializations
Students need to show a serious level of commitment to be accepted into a graduate level nursing program. Often, they need to have a certain GPA in their undergraduate coursework, a minimum score on the Graduate Record Examination , letters of recommendation, a resume or curriculum vitae, and most often, their RN license. However, some programs may accent students who have a degree in another discipline, but require them to meet a number of prerequisites. Sometimes schools also require applicants to already have taken a statistics source.
Students should keep in mind that a MSN degree often requires more credit hours than other disciplines. This is one of several reasons that the DNP is being recommended as the new standard of training by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing .
Nurses are putting in extra work and effort at the masters degree level, but not necessarily being adequately compensated or recognized for these efforts. The DNP provides a clinical option for advanced preparation in nursing practice that is more comparable to other intraprofessional education, the AACN reports. Of course, students not wishing to pursue their DNP can find other alternatives available, including the post-masters certificate. This may be appropriate for nurses who have a generalized masters degree in nursing, but want to specialize as an NP.
Become A Nurse Practitioner
So if you are looking to become a nurse practitioner be prepared for a multi-step, multi-degree process. While alternate paths to the career exist, the clear frontrunner involves:
Once you are certified, research the authority limits in the state you wish to work in. While full authority gives more autonomy to NPs, it also involves more responsibility. Conversely, limited authority means more required collaboration with doctors and other healthcare professionals. Deciding where you stand on this issue will help you prepare for the job requirements.
Lastly, full-time work is no longer the hindrance it once was to people who want to become a nurse practitioner. Several online NP programs offer the classes necessary to become board certification-ready while partnering with local health care institutions to provide the necessary clinical hours.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs
Online programs are ideal for various nursing professionals with busy schedules as they allow the entirety or majority of coursework to be completed remotely. They are flexible and give students the opportunity to work around their schedule.
While online programs are inclusive to all lifestyles, nurses with the following lifestyles may especially benefit from online programs:
- Working nurses
- Nurses with difficult and/or set schedules
Also Check: University Of St Thomas Accelerated Nursing Program
Recommended High School Courses For A Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners are highly trained health care professionals with substantial responsibilities in delivering patient care, managing teams of other health care workers and developing policy for private and governmental organizations. A nurse practitioner has a graduate degree in nursing and can perform tasks such as diagnosing illnesses, writing prescriptions, performing physical examinations and taking patient tissue samples. Even though a nurse practitioner is a graduate-level qualification, students in high school can begin laying a foundation for this career through their choice of courses.
Explore this article
One & Two: Become An Rn & Earn Your Bsn
The typical first step to becoming a nurse practitioner is to get your four-year Bachelor of Science degree. While majors can vary, the degree that provides the most immediate career in nursing is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing . It is also important to note that most graduate nurse practitioner programs require a BSN for entrance.
Many nurses do not have four-year degrees. For instance, a popular path is to earn an , get an RN license, and begin work in a three-year timeframe. Others earn a licensed practical nurse / licensed vocational nurse certificate to begin their nursing careers. These full time jobs used to hinder the ability of nurses to advance their education, but now several online bridge programs provide solutions.
An requires intense coursework, but enables you to maintain employment while earning a BSN in as little as 12 months. These programs are competitive because RNs are seeking their BSNs in record numbers. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nurses , 36.8% of RNs held BSN degrees as of 2008. In 1980, only 22% of RNs had their BSN degrees.
can take as long as four years to complete. These programs require entrance testing and interviews in most cases. The length of the program can vary based on criteria such as previously earned college credits, part time or full time coursework, and specific institution-based requirements.
- Western Governors University
Recommended Reading: Introduction To Nursing Online Course
From Matriculated Student To Nurse Practitioner
A non-nursing professional can expect to demonstrate competency at multiple points along the way. There may be an intensive and accelerated pre-licensing year . Successful candidates will then go on to graduate study in their specialty area. The specialty coursework may technically represent a second program. However, articulation can be quick and seamless the hiring committee may have decided at the onset that the person is a very good bet for program completion and, for practical purposes, they are a nurse practitioner student from the start. In some cases, there will be a separate application process but quick articulation.
The NP coursework will include advanced pharmacotherapeutics, pathophysiology, and health assessment. It will prepare the nurse to diagnose and treat individuals in the particular population focus. The nurse practitioner program will also include core masters level nursing concepts such as population health and health technology.
An advanced practice nurse who wishes to extend his or her population focus beyond the initial training can complete an additional certificate program at a later date.
Basic Nurse Practitioner Job Functions
After receiving your certification, you are eligible to begin your nurse practitioner career. This means you will be able to do the following either autonomously or in collaboration with healthcare professionals:
- Assess and provide treatment for chronic conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure
- Assess and treat acute illnesses and injuries
- Request diagnostic tests, like lab work and x-rays, and have the knowledge to interpret such tests
- Prescribe medications
- Provide patients with a healthy management plan, including education about disease prevention and healthy lifestyle options
- Offer counseling
Being an NP is fast-paced work. The majority of NPs see 3 or more patients per hour. In addition, they write an average of 21 prescriptions per day.
You May Like: Private Nursing Schools In Illinois
Transitioning To An Np Career From A Registered Nurse Role
Health care practitioners have a variety of reasons for choosing to become a nurse. One of them the current shortage of physicians in the U.S. is encouraging many experienced registered nurses to advance their careers by transitioning to an NP role. Today, NPs are being viewed as key providers in the collaborative efforts to address existing workforce needs, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information .
One study found that the successful transition of RNs to an NP role depends on the following personal and environmental factors:
- Sense of well-being
- Levels of confidence and competence
- Mastery of skills
- Autonomous practice
- Formal and structured orientation
Finding and securing a rewarding position as an NP whether as an experienced health care professional or as a novice will require not only finding an organization that offers formal support but also developing personal skills.
What Is The Fastest Way To Become A Nurse Practitioner
A nursing degree is a necessity if you want to become a nurse, but you need qualifications to get there. If you are starting from scratch, then it is important that you meet the entry requirements of your chosen university. If not, you will be unable to study a nursing degree.
Generally, students need 3 A Levels in certain subjects to be accepted on degree level nursing courses. UK-based learners that dont have A Levels may want to consider studying for an Access to Higher Education Diploma . Not only could it lead to university acceptance, but it is also one of the fastest ways to kickstart your career as a nurse practitioner.
Stonebridge Associated Colleges provides accredited online nursing courses that will put you on the right path towards becoming a nurse practitioner. If youre looking for the fastest way to get your career off the ground, then study for an Access to HE Diploma. This is because you can achieve the qualification in less than one year.
An Access to Higher Education Diploma is the equivalent to 3 A Levels, and you have two years to complete it but on average, learners achieve their Diploma in 9-12 months. Usually, it takes two years to finish A Levels, so by opting for an Access course, you can speed up the process. With these online nursing courses, you have the freedom to study at your own pace and in your own time.
Please note the following requirements needed to take our Access to HE Diploma course:
- Academic Writing Skills
Read Also: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Schools In Texas
How To Become A Nurse Practitioner
To become a nurse practitioner, you will need advanced training in nursing. This means earning a masters or doctoral degree, as well as the certifications and licensures required for your area of practice. To succeed in your nursing program, you will need to hone your study techniques and time management skills. Although graduate nursing school is challenging, many students feel their effort is well worth the satisfaction of knowing they will make a difference in the lives of others. Below, we outline the steps to becoming a nurse practitioner.
Np Requirements By Degree Type
NP programs for individuals with an associate degree in nursing typically require an RN license. While other admissions requirements depend on the individual school, applicants are often required to hold a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Additional admissions materials may include GRE test scores, letters of recommendation, official transcripts, a completed application, and a statement of purpose. Learners can also explore RN-to-NP bridge programs and ADN-to-NP bridge programs, allowing students to satisfy degree requirements at an accelerated pace.
Many colleges and universities offer BSN-to-NP programs that require candidates to hold an RN license and a BSN. While admissions requirements vary between institutions, applicants can expect some similarities between programs.
Prospective BSN students should provide a completed application along with their official high school transcripts. Most schools expect candidates to meet a minimum GPA requirement usually, between 2.5 and 3.0. Other admission materials can include letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and ACT or SAT test scores.
Some programs require degree-seekers to demonstrate at least one year of prior nursing experience, although many BSN-holders go directly into an NP program without practicing as an RN first. In addition, students can often earn their degree online and complete their clinical hours at a location near their residence.
Also Check: Should I Go Into Nursing
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Adult Gerontology
The Master’s of Science in Nursing degree, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Concentration is a six-semester program that allows students to continue working full or part-time. The BSN to MSN program consists of 49 credit hours over a period of 24 months. Courses are delivered in a variety of formats including online, hybrid, and face to face. Clinical/practicum courses provide experiential learning in the acute care setting.
Didactic and clinical coursework with preceptorships in Advanced Acute Care, Advanced Critical Care, and an Adult Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Residency prepares students for the national certification exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner . The student’s education provides theoretical and evidence-based clinical knowledge and learning experiences emphasizing the development of clinical expertise needed to provide care for young adults , adults, and older adults in the acute care setting. Course work prepares students in theoretical foundations for advanced practice, health care policy, and clinical assessment and management.
Nurse Practitioner Salary And Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , the job outlook for NPs is considerably higher than many other professions:
- Nurse Practioner jobs are expected to grow by 45%
- The average salary for a Nurse Practitioner was $117,670 — more than double the average annual salary for all other occupations according to the BLS.
Recommended Reading: Nursing Schools In Palm Beach County
Get Your Bachelor’s Degree
If you dont already hold a BSN, you may want to enroll in and earn your Bachelors in Nursing Science degree. Nurses who have their ADN can enroll in accelerated RN-BSN programs, many of which can be completed online. It is possible to go straight from your ADN to an MSN program if you want to skip the step of earning your Bachelor’s degree, however.
How To Become A Nurse Practitioner Using Online Education
Nurse practitioners treat 916 million people in America every year. Why are so many people becoming a nurse practitioner? Unlike a registered nurse , a NP has the ability to prescribe medicine and make clinical diagnoses. And unlike doctors who treat specific medical problems, a nurse practitioner has expertise in health promotion, disease prevention, and counseling/education. Put simply: NPs focus on health totality to guide patients in making smarter health and lifestyle choices.
The NP profession is booming. It strikes an appealing balance between clinical care, education, and research. From a salary standpoint, it has more potential than many other nursing pursuits. In fact, four different nurse practitioner specialties were listed in the top 10 highest paying nursing jobs of 2015. And from a growth standpoint, NPs can advance to even higher levels in the healthcare industry thanks to the rigorous and unique experience gained during the career. When you combine an NPs expertise with the massive shortage in primary care providers existing in the U.S. these days, the result is a well-compensated, in-demand vocation.
Read Also: St Francis Hospital School Of Nursing
Can You Become A Nurse Practitioner Online
The field of nursing is vast, with many opportunities to learn and grow. In addition to the foundational nursing knowledge and skills, there is always new research, methods, and policies that keep nurses learning constantly. Furthermore, there are advanced nursing positions such as that of a Nurse Practitioner where nurses have the opportunity to care for patients on a higher level and make a greater impact. With those advanced positions, comes a need for a higher level of education.
Many registered nurses are looking to take that next step in their careers, but might be concerned about the time commitment of graduate degree program. Fortunately, for prospective Nurse Practitioners or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses , there are online options that make earning a masters degree both feasible and flexible.
You read that right. Becoming an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, or more specifically a Nurse Practitioner, does not require you to go to class in-person or balance your career with on-campus commitments. You can become a Nurse Practitioner online, through a flexible masters degree program.
Become A Certified Nurse Practitioner
Be sure to review information on licensure and regulatory requirements in your state. The AANP is a good resource.
To become licensed to practice as a nurse practitioner, you will need to take a national certification exam. You can take this exam through any of five national certification boards, including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners , the National Certification Corporation , or the American Nurses Credentialing Center . Each organizations exam is different, so you should research the focus and format of each one and consider your personal career goals and testing preferences when deciding which exam to take.
Also Check: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Prescribe Medication
Apply For State Licensure As A Nurse Practitioner
Finally, apply for licensure as a nurse practitioner from your state board. Be sure to research licensure requirements in your state as they may vary widely from other states.
Sponsored Online Nursing Programs
Earn a Master of Science in Nursing online from Simmons University.
- Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Preparation to pursue certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner
- Part-time, full-time, and extended plans of study
Earn an MS in Nursing online from Georgetown University.
- Earn your MS in Nursing in as few as 23 months
- Choose from one of four APRN specialty areas: AG-ACNP, FNP, NM/WHNP, or WHNP
- Gain hands-on clinical experience in evidence-based practice
Earn an M.S. in Nursing online at the Wegmans School of Nursing
- The Wegmans School of Nursing is ranked among the top 100 nursing schools nationally, and is No. 6 in New York state1
- Part-time and accelerated tracks available
- Four program options: PCFNP, PMHNP, AGACNP, AGPCNP
Earn your MSN online from USCs Top-Ranked School of Social Work.
- Prepares RNs to pursue board certification as family nurse practitioners
- Earn a CCNE-accredited MSN in as few as 21 months
- Choose from part-time and full-time study options
1 U.S. News & World Report, 2022 Best Nursing Schools: Masters. Ranked in 2021.
Family Nurse Practitioner Overview
The Family Nurse Practitioner program educates advanced practice nurses to practice primary care.
This includes: health promotion, health maintenance, disease prevention and diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illness, in a variety of settings throughout the patients lifecycle.
The program is designed for professional nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a M.S. in Nursing
Read Also: Online Nursing School San Diego
Key Skills And Attributes Of Nurse Practitioners
The following are just a few skills and relationships NPs should strive to continually develop:
- Teamwork: NPs should develop their ability to effectively collaborate with practitioners across various specialties to alleviate the heavy workload caused in part by a shortage of physicians.
- Mentor relationship: To ensure continuous success and advancement in an NP career, mentorships provide the necessary guidance and support.
- Empathetic communication: Delivering bad news is a regular requirement in an NP position empathetic communication is a multifaceted task that requires professionalism, patience and energy.
- Flexibility: In addition to performing many of the tasks of RNs, NPs also conduct research and consult with doctors and other health care professionals in order to deliver patient-centered care in a timely and sensitive manner.
The path to becoming a nurse practitioner is far from standard. Varying state requirements and personal career aspirations and preferences will influence and shape the path of aspiring NPs. Yet one thing is for certain: Providing care and support to patients comes with unquestionable rewards and will constitute an in-demand skill set for a long time to come.