Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Types Of Nurse Practitioner Degrees

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Three Np Program Formats

The various types of nurse practitioner certifications that you can get

When you research options regarding nurse practitioner programs, youll notice that in addition to the on-site clinical training NP programs require, the didactic portion of various programs are offered in different educational formats. They include:


With these NP and FNP programs, the curriculum is delivered entirely online. These programs typically will require some prescheduled, on-campus meetings for hands-on skills training and testing. These on-campus meetings will be in addition to clinical rotations when you work in the field under the auspices of a preceptor.

One thing to bear in mind with online programs is to find out if classes are non-synchronized or synchronized.

In non-synchronized classes you can attend the classroom online at any time when its convenient for you, as long as you complete ongoing assignments by the deadlines.

In synchronized classes youll have to attend your online classroom at specific, designated times.


Some NP programs still offer their entire curriculum the old-fashion way completely on-site. This means youll need to attend a physical classroom on campus for all your lectures and classes. These are in addition to your clinical rotations.


These NP programs are structured to integrate both online and on-site class formats to deliver your NP education. Just as in the other two formats above, these classes are on top of your external clinical requirements.

One What Is A Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioners have more authority than Registered Nurses and have similar responsibilities to that of a doctor.

Nurse Practitioners can serve as a primary care or specialty care providers and typically focus their care on a specific population such as families, children, or the elderly. As clinicians, they focus on health promotion and disease prevention in their patients.

Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Job Description

AGPCNPs treat adult patients of all ages, from young adults to senior citizens. In providing care for adult and geriatric patients, AGPCNPs assess needs, diagnose medical conditions, and design and implement treatment plans. Due to their patients ages, many adult geriatric nurse practitioners focus on helping patients manage chronic conditions, which can range from diabetes to hypertension.

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Nurse Practitioner Dnp Curriculum

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is prepared to give universities accreditation for their DNP programs, based on curriculum standards set out by the AACN in the Essentials of the Doctoral Education for Advanced Practice Nursing. The curriculum for DNP programs builds on the current standards required for MSN programs.

In addition to the clinical training already included in MSN programs, the DNP curriculum standards include an increased emphasis on training nurses to be leaders, agents for change in the healthcare field, and patient advocates. DNP programs also have a stronger research component than MSN programs, although less than Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing programs. A DNP-prepared NP is fully prepared to assume the highest level of clinical responsibility.

Getting Into Nurse Practitioner School: Expectations For Prior Experience

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Nurse practitioner schools typically like to see nursing experience. In fact, the average new nurse practitioner has spent about a decade out in the field. This isnt a mandate, however. The stated minimum may be just a year or two. In some cases, it will be none.

There are different types of nursing practitioner, and some are more open to newcomers than others. A nurse would-be practitioner who will be working with vulnerable populations can expect to demonstrate nursing experience that is relevant to the specific population and setting. In other words, a neonatal nurse would be well poised to become a neonatal nurse practitioner. Primary care and acute care represent separate specialties. Primary care tends to be the most friendly to those whose careers have been built on the basis of something other than direct patient care. While nurse practitioners often practice more or less independently, they have the responsibility to consult with others as the need arises. Those in primary care have the luxury of time when it comes to healthcare decisions. Fortunately, from the standpoint of a person building his or her career, family nurse practitioner represents an area of high need.

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Why Go Into Forensic Nursing

Forensic nursing is not always an easy profession. Depending on the nature of the role, you may spend a lot of time counseling those who have been victims of assault or abuse and who, therefore, may bear both physical and emotional symptoms of trauma. Due to the emotionally intense nature of the profession, not everyone will find it suitable.

However, for those who are passionate about health care and also have a zeal for victim advocacy or who are drawn to both clinical work and the criminal justice system, becoming a forensic nurse may be the most effective way to unite these passions.

Why Become A Family Nurse Practitioner

FNPs may choose many different care settings: hospitals, private practices, long-term care facilities, community clinics, or even universities.

The role, like others, also enables you to see the same patients routinely, forming relationships and consistently caring for their families. While they do treat acute or emergency issues, including injuries and sudden illnesses, FNPs are just as likely to perform routine checkups or assist with chronic conditions.

Among the many types of nurse practitioner specialties, FNP may be the best choice if you are drawn to the idea of family-focused primary care.

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Benefits Of An Online Nurse Practitioner Program

There are several major benefits of online nurse practitioner programs. While they might not be right for everyone, these programs give you the opportunity to focus on your education in a way that works for you. Many nurses who are working toward a Master of Science in Nursing, along with master-educated nurses working on a post-masters program for specialization, are busy professionals with little free time. Features of online programs that make them attractive for working adults include:

  • Flexibility
  • Convenience
  • Length of the Program

Flexibility is obviously one of the strongest reasons for a nurse to choose an online option for nurse practitioner education. They can work around their hectic schedule and handle their schooling during the times of their day when they have free time or the ability to study. Convenience is also a big part of that, since they won’t need to drive to and from a particular location or be in class when they may need to be working or taking care of their households or families.

The length of the program is often very important to nurses who want to complete their education so they can go on to become a nurse practitioner. With opportunities for accelerated nursing programs, nurses who are dedicated to their education can find ways to get through their studies at a pace that suits them. Then they can move on to the next classes they need to take and graduate, so they can focus on licensure and career advancement opportunities.

What Certification And Licensing Will I Need

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Once youve earned your MSN or DNP in a nurse practitioner-focused program, youre ready to take your certification exam and become certified. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board and the American Nurses Credentialing Center both offer nationally recognized certification exams for NPs. Your specialization will dictate which organization you can be certified by, although there is some overlap within a few specialties. There are additional certifying agenciessuch as the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board , the National Certification Corporation , and othersthat offer certification to NPs who subspecialize.

Once youve been certified, youll be able to pursue a NP license in your state. NPs must renew their certification and state licenses periodically, typically by completing continuing education courses and fulfilling other requirements.

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Five Nurse Practitioner Salary

Nurse practitioners earn an average annual salary of $117,670 in the United States according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2021, which places their income at more than double the average annual salary for all other occupations.

Nurse Practitioners make, on average, around $30,000 more than Registered Nurses each year. And compared to an LPNs annual wages of $46,240, becoming an NP will more than DOUBLE your earnings.

Other Nurse Practitioner Specializations

According to the American Nurses Association , NPs have the option of specializing in areas beyond the population foci categories described above. This means that they must gain licensure as an NP in an APRN role or population focus, and can then gain specialized certification. These specialty areas may include oncology, nephrology, and more. The following is a popular and growing NP specialty:

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Nurse Leadership And Administration

Healthcare organizations need experienced nursing leaders to help them navigate changes in technology and the healthcare landscape. An MSN in Nurse Leadership can help you advance to a variety of management roles, from overseeing a nursing unit to leading the entire nursing department. Possible job titles in nursing administration include Chief Nursing Officer, Director of Nursing, or Healthcare Manager. Learn more about how to become a nursing administrator and what it takes to reach the upper levels of the nursing profession.

Employment for health services managers and executives is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS data also shows that medical and health services managers earn a median annual wage of $99,730. Discover the average salary for nurse administrators and clinical healthcare managers across the U.S.

Curriculum For Nurse Practitioners

Types of Nursing Degree Programs

Nurse practitioners, like all other master of nursing programs have a curriculum of about two academic years. Just like all other advanced practice RN training, NPs must cover advanced nursing core courses in addition to nursing specialty courses streamlined towards the care of one subset of patients.

Nurse practitioner training is focused on providing care to a specialized class of patients. This precisely means that Nurse Practitioners, unlike nurse specialist can handle patients across all ages with varying conditions. To start with, training for nurse practitioners includes advanced study of general nursing concepts. Such courses are applicable to all masters of nursing students and would include advanced practice nursing concepts, population-based nursing care, research in nursing, and health care ethics.

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What To Look For In Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

An online nurse practitioner program can be an excellent option for nurses to advance their career and continue their education. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses, who have earned advanced degrees and received licensing for advanced practice. There are several specializations that nurse practitioners can pursue.

What Is The Difference Between An Np And A Dnp

The main difference between a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Nurse Practitioner is that a DNP is a terminal degree in the field of nursing and an NP is a nursing occupation or career.

This can be confusing – there are a lot of acronyms in nursing! DNP programs exist to train licensed, experienced nurses for leadership and/or certain specialized advanced practice nursing roles. This is to say that a DNP degree is a pathway for both experienced registered nurses and NPs to advance their nursing careers a DNP is not a career in and of itself.

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Working As A Family Nurse Practitioner

Becoming a family nurse practitioner may be appealing if youre interested in wellness promotion and disease prevention among patients of all ages. Licensure requires completion of an FNP examination from either the American Association of Nurse Practitioners or American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Career Trends In The Nurse Practitioner Field

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Salary | NP Job Duties & Education Requirements

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for nurse practitioners and related occupations is expected to grow 31 percent from 2012 to 2022. Nurse practitioners may find more employment opportunities in areas of healthcare legislation, preventive care and healthcare services targeting the baby boomer population.

Some of the most in-demand career paths and specialties for nurse practitioners and related healthcare professionals in 2015 and beyond include:

Sources: payscale.combls.gov

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Two What Do Nurse Practitioners Do

NPs are health care providers that can prescribe medication, examine patients, order diagnostic tests, diagnose illnesses, and provide treatment, much like physicians do.

Their experience as working nurses gives them a unique approach to patient care, while their advanced studies qualify them to take on additional duties that are usually left to physicians.

In fact, as reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation , its estimated that NPs can provide 80-90 percent of the care that primary care physicians offer.

Choosing From Different Types Of Nurse Practitioner Specialties

If you are seeking a way to play a direct role in improving patient lives through clinical care, becoming a nurse practitioner offers many ways to do so. A good way to learn more about the different types of nurse practitioner specialties and to determine the role that fits you best is to compare different education opportunities. Begin the next phase of your career today.

Find your path

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Nurse Practitioner Specialty Tracks

Specific NP tracks train the future NP on how to handle a subset of patients of their choice. As mentioned earlier, nurse practitioners are able to handle patients across all ages and as such, the specialty courses focus on care of patients in a particular field of nursing but with a-cross-the-lifespan approach. NPs can choose to specialize in any of these nursing specialties.

Where Do Nurse Practitioners Work

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Depending on their specialty area of care, skilled nurse practitioners can provide services to adults, children and families in a variety of medical settings in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These may include:

  • Community clinics: serving individuals from the community who may have fewer resources or be uninsured.
  • Hospitals: staffing emergency rooms, maternity wards, critical care units or another area depending on their specialization.
  • Private practices: delivering family, pediatric and womens healthcare and providing personal attention to patients who a doctor may not have the time to attend to.
  • Long-term care facilities: delivering geriatric, hospice and palliative care services.
  • Health departments: working alongside government leaders in handling public health concerns.
  • Schools: providing care onsite, as well as visiting classrooms and helping students understand various health care topics.
  • Home health care agencies: caring for an in-home patient who requires intensive or specialty care.
  • Mental health care facilities: overseeing patients in mental health centers, psychiatric facilities, correctional facilities and schools.

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Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

As mentioned above, an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner is a PNP that practices acute care, also known as critical care, with children.

A CPNP-AC is trained in providing care for children, as well as care for complex or chronic illnesses.

They can practice in a hospital setting, an emergency room, an intensive care unit, or even make home visits for children with mobility issues.

What Is A Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who hold a masters in nursing degree or doctoral degree in nursing, as well as a certification from an approved national licensing body, such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and from a state nursing licensing board.

Generally, RNs may choose to become NPs to further their career prospects. Certification is available for a variety of specialties such as acute care, adult care, pediatric care, gerontology, family care and womens health. Each licensing body has its own requirements, but they typically include at minimum a graduate degree in nursing, a certain amount of nursing experience and a passing score on a certification examination.

Be sure to check with your state boards of nursing to determine which certifications are accepted in your area, as the requirements for becoming licensed vary state by state.

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Why Would You Consider An Msn

Becoming a nurse practitioner gives you more autonomy as a nurse and allows you to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications under the guidance of a licensed physician. Nurse practitioners work in a variety of healthcare settings including hospitals, physician offices, and clinics. Once your MSN-NP degree is earned and you have passed the national licensing exam, you can refer to yourself as an advanced practice registered nurse .

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners median pay is $115,800 per year and is growing 45% faster than the national average for all occupations. Growth is occurring due to an increased emphasis on preventative care and demand for healthcare services for aging populations.

Reaching The Pinnacle Of Your Chosen Nursing Specialty

Sierra Giesey, APRN-CNP, What is a Nurse Practitioner? | Genesis HealthCare System

The health of our communities, families, and country will rely increasingly on the services provided by NP specialists with the training and experience to treat acute and chronic health conditions and to promote healthy lifestyles.

Students considering a career as a nurse practitioner need to understand the duties, responsibilities, and other characteristics of various NP specialties, so they can make an informed decision about the career path that best fits their goals. Nurse practitioners in any specialty can have a tremendous, long-lasting impact on the health and well-being of communities from coast to coast.

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Becoming A Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

For those who value direct patient interaction and have an interest in emotional, mental, or behavioral issues, a career as a mental health nurse practitioner can be a satisfying way to make a difference in peoples lives. The American Nurses Credentialing Center administers examinations that allow you to practice in this role.

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