Nurse Practitioners (NPs) diagnose and treat much like a doctor might.

Nurse practitioner careers are available to RNs who choose to advance their career with an advanced degree, such as a Master’s degree, as well as clinical training.   They will help patients manage their illnesses at clinics, hospitals and medical offices.

Many times you will find nurse practitioner careers leading to a partnership with doctors, or entering their own private practice.  Throughout the United States, NPs are now allowed to go out and start their own practice and prescribe medications without having to be supervised by a doctor.  This liberty still varies from state to state, so you should go to your state board to verify your privileges.

Nurse practitioner careers are taking off.

With the way the healthcare system is currently, NPs perform a large percent of primary care.  The American Nurses Association suggests that up to 80% of preventative and primary care is by nurse practitioners. Quite often the NP is becoming the person you go to see on a routine basis and only seeing a doctor for specific injuries or illnesses that are beyond a nurse practitioner’s scope of work.

With this advanced training and increased privileges, generally comes a bigger pay check!  The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) claims that the average annual salary approaches $90,000.  Of course your specialization, your experience, as well as where you are located will greatly impact your actual earnings.  The AANP also reported in 2009 that there were 125,000 nurse practitioners in the United States and that about half of them work in family practice. There are a few other common areas like pediatric nurses or in the area of women’s health but really there are many specialty areas in which you can find a career.

So, if you are looking to make more money or to just get off the floor of the hospital, this is one way to do that.

Keep an eye out for my future posts that will be talking more about advancing your career as a nurse. And go get your advanced degree and open the door to expanding nurse practitioner careers!


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