A career in nursing will be the most satisfying and challenging one in more than one aspect. The nursing profession provides innumerable opportunities for specialization in any one area of healthcare, which will not only be satisfying to a nursing professional to give his or her best, but also highly remunerative.
The ever-increasing need for specialized care and assistance in every field of medical diagnosis has opened the doors for specialization in specific areas. Now we have nurses in hospitals for different department and specialized courses for each type. For example, we have oncology nurse, cardiovascular nurse, travel nurse, military nurse, surgical nurse and such other things.
One of the many options available in nursing profession is that of becoming a Nursing Practitioner. A career as a Nurse Practitioner makes you look beyond nursing and entitles you to claim to be a quasi-qualified doctor. Before dwelling more on the qualifications and prospects about a career as Nurse Practitioner, let us discuss the responsibilities of a nurse practitioner.
Contrary to the role of a registered nurse who acts on the direction of a physician, a nurse practitioner is entitled to handle a large number of issues related to healthcare. They are entitled to provide treatment to minor injuries, and other common health related issues. In fact, nursing practitioners offer an opportunity to get relative cheaper treatment from them, instead of visiting a specialist doctor even for minor ailments.
The common things that a nurse practitioner is entitled to do without the intervention of a physician include the following tasks:
- Nursing Practitioner can perform physical examination of health condition, record patient’s history and also prescribe laboratory tests
- Nursing Practitioner is entitled to provide prescriptions and also coordinate referrals
- A nursing practitioner can execute certain medical procedures such as lumbar puncture, even in the absence of a doctor
- A nursing practitioner is entitled to provide pre-natal care as well as family planning services, and such other related services, basically, without the need to seek the advice of a qualified doctor.
Requirements of a Nurse Practitioner
To become a Nurse Practitioner, one needs to have acquired some qualifications. He or she should be a registered nurse. In other words, the nurse should have the completed either a) a 4-year degree course on nursing and get the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) certificate., or b) completed the Associate Degree in Nursing, or have taken up diploma courses conducted by many hospitals.
After the basic graduation degree and license as a Registered Nurse, one needs to take up Masters Degree for Nursing and complete it to become a Nurse Practitioner. In other words, the minimum academic qualification for a Nurse Practitioner is a Master’s Degree of Science in Nursing.
In addition to master’s degree, a registered nurse should have experience in clinical training to practice. Then he or she can obtain a license from the appropriate authority to work as Nurse Practitioner and carry out the duties and responsibilities.
The demand for nurse practitioners is on the rise with increasing specialized patient care facilities. Thus, it is worth exploring the option of becoming a Nurse Practitioner.