Nurse Practitioner Programs In Texas: What To Look For
Communities across the U.S., especially those in rural areas, no longer have enough doctors to meet the needs of their residents. This shortage affects more than half of the counties in Texas. Nurse practitioners are increasingly filling the primary care provider role in underserved areas. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners , more than 1.06 billion people visit with an NP each year.
The U.S. Department of Labors Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for NPs will grow by 26% through 2028, which is much faster than the average rate. This demand is inspiring more and more Texas nursing professionals to advance their careers.
If the opportunity to serve patients at a higher level appeals to you, consider exploringnurse practitioner programs in Texas. In this post, we share some information about the field and give you a few pointers to guide your search for the best nursing school.
What is a Nurse Practitioner, and How Do I Become One?
Nurse practitioners are qualified to provide many of the same services as a physician, either independently or in collaboration with other health professionals. The AANP explains that a focus on health promotion, disease prevention, and treating the whole person sets NPs apart from other providers.
Along with the demand mentioned earlier, the NP field is also appealing for its earning potential. According to the BLS, the national median wage for nurse practitioners in 2018 was $113,930.
The Future For Oncology Nps
The role of the oncology NP will continue to grow, especially in community settings. Theres been a marked transition away from big cancer centers and towards local providers. But the new treatments and medicines approved for cancer patients require a high degree of maintenance. Highly trained oncology NPs can provide a critical link here, partnering with community sites on side effects and providing overall patient management.
As time goes on and we have more patients who are either on maintenance therapy for decades, like a chronically ill patient, or patients who survive and come off therapy, I think the role of oncology and primary care NPs will grow, Dr. Abbott says. Because thats what we are really trained to do: to take care of patients and provide health maintenance. Its a role where were able to thrive, and function independently, and really promote health maintenance and longevity for these people who survive cancer. I think thats a great thing.
This can be a very rewarding career, Kottschade says. There are lots of opportunities in where you can practice and how you can practice. Its exciting to be on the cutting edge of new treatments, and being able to deliver those to patients and see those results firsthand in a disease that used to be uniformly fatal.
What Is The Job Outlook For Oncology Nurse Practitioners
According to the BLS, the job growth for Nurse Practitioners is projected to increase by 45% from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
Much of this growth will result from an increase in the demand for healthcare services and preventative care for the aging population in our country. This will have a direct effect on the Oncology profession.
Also Check: Ut Austin School Of Nursing Acceptance Rate
Nurse Practitioner Programs In Texas
Nurses practitioners are professional nurses who have high levels of education and are able to carry out advanced roles in health management. Among the duties they may perform: carrying out comprehensive assessments and ordering diagnostic tests. In Texas, nurse practitioners are licensed as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, or APRNs. Nurse practitioner is not the only APRN role, but it is the most common one. In 2016, more than 73% of Texas APRNs had a nurse practitioner role. The total number of ARNs was well over 20,000. 78% of these professionals had prescriptive authority they could write prescriptions.
Nurse practitioners tend to work in ambulatory settings like family practices, specialty practices, clinics, and hospital outpatient centers. Sometimes they help manage care in hospital in-patient units.
Scope of practice is set at the state level, but there is a good deal of consensus about educational standards. Texas recognizes nurse practitioner scope as being dependent on the population focus of national certification. The most common population focus is also the broadest: family practice. Sometimes policies change to conform with what national standards setters are doing . In 2013, Texas recognized two new categories, Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Acute Care and Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. This change came because accredited schools had begun educating nurse practitioners in these roles.
Popular Types Of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs In Texas
Universities in Texas have a robust offering of NP programs in both hybrid and fully-online formats that can lead to unique specializations in the field. Theres an academic route to becoming an NP for most online learners who are at different stages of their nursing education or careers. Here are some of the most common options currently available:
Also Check: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs In Florida
Msn To Np Certificate
If you already have your MSN but are not an NP you can complete a certificate program to train you to be an NP. This may be the right path for you if you have your MSN in something like nursing education, nursing administration, or if you are a clinical nurse specialist. In general MSN to NP certificate programs take about one year and to enter and to complete your NP to Certificate program requires the following:
- You must be an RN in Texas to be eligible to apply for these programs
- Typically you are not required to take the GRE again for these programs
- You will have to submit an application with your resume, references, past transcripts and more
- Complete 500 to 700 clinical hours depending on the school and your population focus
Resources For Oncology Nps
Oncology is a rapidly evolving field, with new medications, new treatments, and new ways of thinking appearing all the time. To stay up to date, oncology NPs can look to a number of professional associations for advocacy, research, and networking opportunities. To connect with the wider oncology community, check out some of the resources below.
Matt Zbrog is a writer and researcher from Southern California, and he believes a strong society demands a stronger healthcare system. Since early 2018, hes written extensively about emerging topics in healthcare administration, healthcare research, and healthcare education. Drawing upon interviews with hospital CEOs, nurse practitioners, nursing professors, and advocacy groups, his writing and research are focused on learning from those who know the subject best.
Also Check: Sandusky School Of Practical Nursing
How Become A Nurse Practitioner In Texas Eight Steps
Womens Health Nurse Practitioner
For nurses seeking to become a womens health nurse practitioner, an online womens health nurse practitioner program may help prepare students to provide gynecologic and primary care to women. As an online WHNP student, you will learn and acquire the skills and experience to treat and prevent illnesses and health concerns unique to women. Areas of focus will include primary care, prenatal and postpartum care, menopause, reproductive healthcare, and general wellness.
Recommended Reading: What’s A Bachelor’s Degree In Nursing
S To Become A Nurse In Texas
1. Understand Nursing Levels and Specializations
A nursing education are offered from the non-degree Certified Nursing Assistant certification through Doctorate Degree designation. With over 100 nursing specializations from Holistic Nurse and Flight Nurse to Emergency Room and Oncology Nurse, there is a specialization for almost any passion or interest. Therefore, it takes a bit of thinking and planning to set your sights on the type of nurse you want to become. You can get started as CNA with as little as 100 hours of training in Texas and work your way into an RN, earning experience on the way, or you can start fresh and earn a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in as few as 6 to 8 years.
2. Earn Your Registered Nursing Degree
To become a registered nurse, you need either an associate’s or bachelors degree. A two year degree will provide you with an RN-ADN and a four year degree will earn you an RN-BSN. Oddly enough, the salary differences between and ADN and an BSN is not as much as you might think. The advantage of a BSN is to earn an advanced degree as an MSN, NP or DNP. Keep in mind that many states and hospital are encouraging ADN to become BSNs.
3. Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam
Every RN in the United States must take and pass the National Council Examination, also also known known as as NCLEX. The test focuses on your knowledge of four specific areas of nursing, including:
- Safe, effective care environments
Overview Of Nursing Schools In Texas
- There are 103 nursing schools in Texas. The CCNE accredits 32 nursing schools and the ACEN accredits 54 schools in Texas.
- On average, attending an RN program in Texas will cost you between $1,483.00 and $39,975.00 per year.
- In Texas, the average undergraduate student borrows between $4,725.00 and $14,000.00 per year.
- Typically, an Associate Degree in Nursing will take between 18 to 24 months to complete, and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing will take about 4 years to complete.
- The average, the NCLEX passing rate range for Texas ADN students is between 54.35% and 100.00%.
- On average, the NCLEX passing rate range for Texas BSN students is between 71.22% and 97.96%.
- The average annual salary for a registered nurse in Texas is between $52,080 to $111,220 a year.
- Registered Nurses throughout the country and in Texas can expect a favorable job growth of 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 which much faster than the average for all occupations.
Read Also: Is A Dnp Required For Nurse Practitioners
The Average Day Of An Oncology Np
Oncology NPs can work in a wide variety of settings, capacities, and subcategories. In the outpatient setting, an NP might work in a disease-specific clinic, seeing patients who have been newly diagnosed, patients coming in for toxicity checks, or patients who need a change in therapy. In an inpatient setting, an NP might work through a roster of patients, examining them, ordering and interpreting tests for them, and informing patients of their care plan for that day.
Nothing is ever typical, Dr. Abbot says. You never know whats coming through that door.
Dr. Abbot runs an outpatient urgent care center. Patients come in with some sort of chief complaint, such as nausea, vomiting, and/or pain. She works up these patients independently, prescribes a treatment plan, and evaluates that treatment plan.
Its kind of like detective work, Dr. Abbot says. I know what their cancer is. I know what treatment theyre on. So why is their pain worse today? Are they nauseous from their chemo, or is something else going on? Ill do my best to fix whats going on with that patient that day, then send them home with a plan, so that they feel better and dont have to be admitted to a hospital unnecessarily.
Direct Entry Msn Programs
Direct Entry MSN programs or accelerated MSN programs give people who are not nurses but have a bachelors degree in something else the opportunity pursue nursing. These programs prepare you to be an NP without having you repeat non-nursing college courses that you have already taken. There are a handful of these programs in Texas. Direct entry programs take between 2 and 3 years to complete. After the program you will be an RN and an NP. General requirements to enter and to complete your accelerated MSN program in Texas include:
- A 3.0 GPA or the equivalent of a B average
- Completion of pre-requisites such as anatomy and physiology, developmental psychology, microbiology, organic and inorganic chemistry, and more
- Complete about ## credits of classroom work
- Complete 500 to 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience depending upon the University
Also Check: Bachelors In Nursing Vs Associates
Examine The Duties Responsibilities Schooling Requirements Certifications Job Outlook And Salary Expectations For One Of Nursings Most Challenging Fields
Registered Nursing is one of the broadest, most diverse areas of employment in the healthcare industry. With countless specialties to choose from, aspiring nurses can gain a breadth of experience working with a variety of patient groups that span a large cross-section of the population. By choosing a unique specialty based on your interests, your nursing career can prove rewarding on multiple levels.
Every nursing career path, however, comes with its own set of responsibilities, work environments, and patient groups. Moreover, each nursing area has its own educational and certification requirements. Today well take a closer look at the field of Oncology Nursing and the role of the Oncology Nurse Practitioner. If you are a current or aspiring nurse and are considering the possibility of a post-RN specialization, we hope this information will help you determine if oncology nursing is the right field for you.
Oncology Nurse Practitioners work closely with physicians, surgeons, patients, and families to assist in cancer treatment. With the amount of cancer research taking place, the role of the Oncology Nurse Practitioner will surely evolve, but the occupation will always remain patient-centered. Their duties can include screening, research, management, cancer prevention, education, administration and much more.
Apply For Your Aprn License
To apply for your APRN license in Texas you must either complete a paper application or an online application. You must also include the following documentation with your completed application:
- An official transcript showing your APRN graduate degree. The transcript must show the date your degree was awarded. If you received your graduate education from more than one institution, you must include an official transcript from all institutions.
- Evidence of your current national certification in the advanced role and population focus area for which you are applying.
- A copy of your Compact RN license if you obtained your RN license from another Compact state .
- A completed Consent to Release Information form . You must send the consent form to the Program Director for completion. The Program Director must then send the consent form directly to the Texas Board of Nursing, ATTN: APRN Application Office, 333 Guadalupe Street, Suite 3-460, Austin, TX 78701.
- A check or money order of $100 for Advanced Practice Licensure only, or $150 for Advanced Practice Licensure with Prescriptive Authority, made payable to the Texas Board of Nursing.
Send the check or money order, along with the completed application and required documentation to the Texas Board of Nursing, ATTN: APRN Application Office, 333 Guadalupe Street, Suite 3-460, Austin, TX 78701.
Checking Status of Initial Licensure Application
Interim Approval for APRN
Recommended Reading: Family Nurse Practitioner Programs Massachusetts
The Evolving Role Of Oncology Nps
APPs , including NPs, have become very sought-after in oncology, says Lisa A. Kottschade, an associate professor of oncology at Mayo Clinic. They can care for patients across the continuum, from diagnosis, through treatment, and end-of-life care. The practice has grown significantly over the last 10 to 15 years.
In some ways, the role of an oncology NP has stayed the same: they are the patient-centered health professional who helps provide continuity through the diagnosis, treatment, and management of cancer patients.
But in other ways, its evolved in tandem with the field of oncology itself. Part of that evolution has been an expansion into outpatient settings, where patients may do better when allowed to be at home, with family, in their own bed, and not susceptible to hospital-based infection. The majority of the changes, however, have come as a result of breakthroughs in medical research.
What I find exciting about oncology is the mixture of science and holistic care, which is really well-partnered, says Dr. Maura Abbott, an assistant professor of nursing at Columbia University. Every single day, new information comes out about treatments that potentially prolong patients lives. Theres been a shift in thought processes when it comes to oncology. Theres a lot more hope these days.
What Degree Do You Need To Be An Oncology Nurse Practitioner
Not surprisingly, there is a significant level of education and training involved in becoming an Oncology Nurse Practitioner.
Registered Nurses with a BSN degree and additional oncology training can practice oncology nursing. However, completing a graduate program to become an Advanced Practice Oncology Nurse provides you a much greater depth of knowledge in oncological pathology and treatment.
Oncology nursing programs typically offer oncology as a sub-specialty within a patient population focus. For example, Clinical Nurse Specialists will often specialize in oncology by pursuing MSN programs with the oncology CNS option.
The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation offers a variety of certifications for aspiring Oncology Nurses. The Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner certification ensures you have gained and mastered the requisite knowledge for oncology nursing and are ready to provide high-quality care as a Nurse Practitioner.
Eligibility requirements for the AOCNP certification include the following:
- An active license as a Registered Nurse
- A minimum of two years of experience as an RN within four years prior to your application for the exam
- A minimum of 2,000 hours of adult oncology nursing practice within four years prior to your application
- A completed minimum of 10 contact hours of nursing continuing education in oncology nursing
Don’t Miss: South University College Of Nursing