Nurse practitioner – Nurse practitioner salary
Description A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse and a type of mid-level practitioner. NPs are trained to assess patient needs, order and interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests, diagnose disease, formulate and prescribe treatment plans.
Steps to Becoming a Nurse Practitioner
1. BECOME A REGISTERED NURSE
The first step to becoming a nurse practitioner is becoming a registered nurse. You’ll do this by enrolling in either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) program.
2. GET YOUR BACHELOR’S DEGREE
If you don’t already hold a BSN, you may want to enroll in and earn your Bachelor’s in Nursing Science degree. Nurses who have their ADN can enroll in accelerated RN-BSN programs, many of which can be completed online. It is possible to go straight from your ADN to an MSN program if you want to skip the step of earning your Bachelor’s degree, however. (More on that in step four.)
3. GAIN NURSING EXPERIENCE
Some nurses may choose to skip this step and go right into enrolling in a graduate program, while others choose to get a few years of experience under their belt before continuing their education.
4. ENROLL IN A GRADUATE PROGRAM (MSN OR DNP)
The simplest route to becoming a nurse practitioner for RNs who already have their bachelor’s degree is by earning a master’s degree.
For RNs without bachelor’s degrees, there are RN-to-MSN programs. You may also see such programs called ADN-to-MSN (which means Associate Degree in Nursing to Master’s).
Some institutions offer doctoral degrees like Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs, which is the highest level of nursing education available.
5. EARN YOUR ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSING LICENSURE IN PRACTICAL NURSING
The specifics for NP licensure are set by the individual states, which means that you will have to search the requirements to become an NP in the state that you plan to work in. There is also talk of a national model for NP licensure, but currently, it does vary from state-to-state. You can view complete state-by-state requirements to become an NP here and be sure to check with the school you plan on attending.
6. GET YOUR FIRST NURSE PRACTITIONER JOB
Congratulations! You’ve made it and now you’re ready to find your first job as a nurse practitioner. You can work with a nurse recruiter or check out nursing job boards to help find the right position for you.