According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners are in high demand across the nation. Hospitals, home health companies, and other healthcare organizations are hiring them in high numbers and offering competitive wages. As a result, more individuals are looking into becoming a nurse practitioner to take advantage of this opportunity.
Demand for Nurse Practitioners
The growing demand for nurse practitioners is due in large part to the aging population and the increasing prevalence of chronic illnesses. This has created a need for more healthcare professionals who can provide quality care while keeping costs low. Nurse practitioners are able to do just that, as they can diagnose and treat patients without having to refer them out to specialists or physicians. In addition, many states now allow nurse practitioners to prescribe medications without physician oversight, allowing them even greater autonomy in patient care.
Becoming a Nurse Practitioner
In order to become a nurse practitioner, individuals must first earn their Bachelor’s degree in nursing. They must then obtain licensure by passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), which tests their knowledge of nursing principles and practices. Once they have passed this exam, they may apply for advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) certification from their state board of nursing.
After completing all of these steps, individuals may pursue either a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing with a focus on either primary care or specialized care such as pediatrics or mental health. Upon completion of their studies, they will be eligible to sit for national certification exams administered by specialty boards such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Becoming a nurse practitioner requires dedication and hard work but is well worth it in terms of job satisfaction and financial rewards. With hospitals and home health companies across the country looking for NP’s with top qualifications, now is the perfect time for those interested in this field to start preparing for successful careers as nurse practitioners.