A career as a Registered Nurse is fulfilling and one that will almost guarantee you a job no matter what the economy does. Nurses are in high demand all over the country and throughout the world. As a nurse you will have the responsibility and privilege of helping people live healthier lives and providing care to the critical ill. Aspiring nurses who are in school, or trying to decide if this is the career path for them, may want to know what the next step after becoming an RN may be. There are many career paths for RNs. You may go into administration, critical care, hospice, receive training to become a nurse anesthetist, or as a nurse practitioner.
Nurse practitioners have advanced training very similar to doctors. They provide primary care and in some rural areas may be the only medical provider available. Nurse practitioners work under the supervision of a medical doctor and can prescribe and administer medication, perform simple medical procedures, and diagnose illnesses. Many times they are described as physician extenders. As the population ages and more medical professional are needed, nurse practitioners are able to help provide care and take some of the pressure off of medical doctors.
Unlike a Physician Assistant (PA) nurse practitioners do not have a medical license, but an advanced degree in nursing and can perform much the same level of care as a PA. In order to become a nurse practitioner you must first have a Bachelor Degree in Nursing. Once you complete your master’s degree in nursing you may choose to specialize. Specializations include pediatrics, elder care, hospice, family care, and oncology to name a few. Some states allow nurse practitioners to practice in remote locations, but all states do require they be under the supervision of a medical doctor.
Nurse practitioners can expect to earn close to or over $100,000 a year depending on the area of the country. The medical industry as a whole is expected to be the fastest growing job market throughout 2018. If you want to travel, you can also take your training overseas and provide medical care for the third world. You may also be interested in teaching at a nursing college or university. A career as a nurse practitioner can be the next step for Registered Nurses and help to provide even greater care to people in need.