A licensed nurse practitioner is an individual who has completed college courses and passed a state mandated exam for licensing and legal registration. Individuals work in a medical office alongside a physician who supervises their activities.
A high level of education is required and may be an expensive expenditure. Usually, a bachelor's degree in nursing from an approved university is required. A person may be able to take a licensing exam with an associate's degree or a diploma from an accredited institution. Obtaining a bachelor's degree will increase the possibility of getting a higher paying job. Many nursing schools and colleges offer courses that are required to become a nurse.
Every person interested in becoming a nurse is required to pass a state level exam in order to practice in his or her own state. A national exam must also be passed in order to legally practice the profession prior to licensing on the state level. Licensing or registration must be on file with American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
This type of nursing job's responsibility is similar to a physicians, the difference is that physicians are able to distribute prescriptions and a registered nurse practitioner is not. These individuals are also trained with methods of diagnosing illness and helping cure commonly experience problems as well as the more difficult conditions. A licensed nurse practitioner is able to prescribe medications as required. Nurses also collect information on the health history of the patient, administering required shots to children, providing information to patients related to medical conditions they have as well as taking blood pressure readings.
Important skills for a professional licensed nurse to have include being able to distribute prescription medications properly, inserting catheters to men and women, caring for a patient with orthopedic disorders or complications, taking care of patients who have been wounded, use breathing devices for people who have difficulties with obtaining and utilizing oxygen, and many more. Knowing how to administer medical services to individuals who have cardiac difficulty is also important to prevent errors from being made. Extra care is required for those who have various disorders combined.
The training requirements vary from country to country. In the US, a long period of training with hands on practice is required similar to a physician's internship. Training is also provided when being educated for a Diploma in nursing, associate's degree in nursing, and a BS and MS in nursing. Training requirements for a nurse may also vary on the state level.
The experience required will depend on the specialty chosen. Most nurses will specialize in the field they will practice in. For example, a nurse who has chosen to work with children in a pediatrics office must have experience with administering shots required for school. A pediatric nurse should have knowledge of how to appropriately deal with children who have behavioral issues. Handling a child who is fearful is important in order to carry out responsibilities appropriately. On the job experience in working in a medical office in the specialty chosen is important though some physician's offices will hire people fresh out of college.
Becoming a licensed nurse is a good field with a growing number of employment opportunities. Many of the current employees are aged, so the need for younger nurses is increasing because older employees are leaving the workforce. The turnover rate for nurses is very high due to the hours they must work and the amount of service as well as dedication required. Although the growth rate is slow, many opportunities can be easily found. Most nurses seek employment at doctor's offices because of non-changing work hours.
The number of people attending school to become practicing nurses has grown tremendously. Over 500,000 jobs will be created over a period of ten years. This figure is expected to grow but the rate of increase will depend on the nursing specialty chosen.
Based on information released by the Department of Labor the salary expected for a beginning nurse is approximately $50,000 annually. A nurse with a higher level of experience will earn an income of $75,000 or more per year. Many nurse practitioners are needed in rural and city areas that do not have a doctor nearby.
The demand for nurses is very high as all people require medical attention. Although the expenditure is high for becoming a professional in this field the rewards are countless. Helping people and earning an income at the same time is beneficial for the service provider and the recipient.