Learn About Being a Nurse Practitioner in 2024

What does a nurse practitioner do? – Becoming a nurse practitioner (NP) is the perfect way to work in healthcare without having to manage the day-to-day duties of a doctor. This type of professional is an especially valuable asset in areas with limited access to doctors.

Nurse practitioners are more than just nurses. They have additional qualifications and training, which allows them to diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication, and perform various treatments by themselves. Becoming a certified nurse practitioner (NP) will require many years of education and training and a lot of hard work. But when you get there, you’ll have the privilege of making an immense difference in so many lives. Here are some tips on how you can become a nurse practitioner!

Learn About Being a Nurse Practitioner - Best School News

Learn About Being a Nurse Practitioner in 2024

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner is a career that can be both rewarding and challenging. One of the most common questions people ask when they find out you’re a Nurse Practitioner is, “What do you do?”
There are many different types of Nurse Practitioners, but some of the most common ones are certified nurse midwives (CNM), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA), family nurse practitioners (FNP) and pediatric nurse practitioners (PNP). There are also several subspecialties within these four major categories. For instance, there is a Registered Nurse – Psychiatric Mental Health who specializes in mental health nursing. It’s important to know what type of Nurse Practitioner you want to be so that you can make the best possible decision for your career. We break down the difference between all these titles below.

What does a nurse practitioner do?

Nurse Practitioners (NP) are health care professionals who practice medicine and provide preventative, diagnostic, therapeutic, and palliative care for a variety of illnesses. NP’s can be physicians’ assistants, nurses with advanced degrees, or both. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners defines nurse practitioners as “highly skilled registered nurses who are nationally certified in the specialty of their choice.”
Nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings such as hospitals and long-term care facilities. In addition to providing direct patient care, they may also work to promote wellness at schools and businesses.
Nurse practitioners typically specialize in one area of healthcare including pediatrics, geriatrics, mental health, women’s health, etc. To learn more about what nurse practitioner’s do read this post!

A nurse practitioner is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) who is qualified to examine patients, diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication and provide treatment. Nurse practitioners typically specialize in a specific area of medicine and their duties can vary depending on their area of specialization. Some of their general responsibilities include:

  • Performing patient screenings, reviewing their medical history and conducting physical examinations

  • Verifying patient medical records for accuracy during appointments and updating the records as necessary

  • Analyzing test results, identifying the appropriate treatment options and determining the need for a follow-up appointment

  • Serving as a patient resource for information, counseling and guidance

  • Consult with physicians and other health care professionals as necessary

Nurse Practitioner Salary

As a nurse practitioner, you’ll be responsible for providing medical care to patients suffering from a range of different health conditions. The salary in this profession is usually determined by the level of job experience and qualifications.
Nurse practitioners are primarily employed in hospitals, clinics and private practices. For example, LPNs work under the supervision of doctors and RNs. Certain states also require that nurse practitioners be licensed separately from nurses or other healthcare professionals.
The salary for a nurse practitioner will depend on where they are employed, their qualifications and education level, as well as the state regulations for their particular career.

There are many factors that go into determining your salary as a nurse practitioner. The most important factor is the setting in which you work, as salaries vary from hospital to clinic. Your years of experience also play a factor in how much you can make, and so does which state or province you work in. In the United States for example, the average yearly salary for a nurse practitioner is $94,360, but this number varies depending on where you live and what type of practice you have. Regardless of where you work however, being a nurse practitioner is one of the most sought-after careers–and with good reason! Here are some things to consider when determining if it’s right for you.

Average salary

Salaries vary according to the geographic location and experience levels of the nurse practitioner.

  • Common salary in the U.S.: $108,569 per year

  • Some salaries range from $41,000 to $208,000 per year

Nurse practitioner requirements

There are a number of qualifications required to obtain a position as a nurse practitioner. They include:


Nurse practitioners are required to hold a master’s degree from an accredited program. Before pursuing their area of specialization, however, they typically must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing. There are graduate problems who will accept candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field, even if it isn’t nursing. These programs are designed to prepare students for licensing as a registered nurse (RN).

In an undergraduate nursing program, students complete coursework in areas like anatomy, physiology, community health, pediatric nursing and pharmacology. They also complete clinical training, where they use their classroom training in a real-world environment under the direct supervision of an instructor.

After obtaining an RN license, students can qualify for a position as a nurse practitioner by earning a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. Nurse practitioners generally choose a specific area of medicine in which to specialize, such as family medicine, emergency care or acute care. Courses students take may include healthcare management, advanced pharmacology and pathophysiology.


Much of the training that nurse practitioners need for the role happens through clinical training or on-the-job experience as an RN. A master’s or doctoral program typically takes two to three years to complete and students are required to take not only courses and seminars. but also to complete a clinical residency where they receive hands-on experience under the supervision of a trained professional.

Certifications & licenses

Nurse practitioners are required to hold multiple licenses as well as a certification specific to their careers. They include:

  • National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN): Every state requires nurses to pass then exam before qualifying for a position as an RN. Additional licensing and registration may be required at a state level. This license is required before candidates can pursue a master’s or doctoral program to become a nurse practitioner.

  • APRN License: Most states require specific licensing to work as an advanced practical nurse. To meet the state licensing requirements, nurse practitioners must pass a national certification exam upon completion of their master’s or doctoral program.

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (RNP): Offered by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board, this examination tests a candidate’s knowledge in family/individual care across the lifespan, from prenatal and pediatric to elderly care.

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP): This exam tests a candidate’s clinical knowledge of young adults, adults and older adults.


There are several skills necessary for nurse practitioners to be successful in their roles. They include:

  • Communication: These include written and verbal communication as well as listening. Nurse practitioners must be able to communicate clearly and efficiently with patients to ensure they understand their diagnoses and treatment plan. They must also use active listening to diagnose patients based on their symptoms. They must also read non-verbal cues to be able to better understand a patient and their state of mind, even when something isn’t being said.

  • Critical thinking: This refer’s the nurse practitioner’s ability to analyze a situation and find a solution. Nurse practitioners must be able to think critically to assess changes to a patient’s health and identify a treatment plan.

  • Compassion: Because they work with patients who are sick, in pain or experiencing emotional distress, nurse practitioners must exhibit a strong degree of compassion.

  • Interpersonal skills: Commonly referred to as “people skills,” these skills refer to the ability to work well with others. It includes communication, empathy, dependability and teamwork. These skills are all key to success as a nurse practitioner, as they must work closely with other members of the administrative and support staff to ensure a patient receives the best possible care.

  • Attention to detail: This refers to an individual’s ability to pay attention to details. Strong attention to detail is essential when reading and taking notes on patient charts as well as prescribing medication.

Nurse practitioner work environment

A nurse practitioner typically works in a healthcare environment, although some may treat patients in their homes. Their work environments generally have the following characteristics:

  • Long hours spent on their feet

  • May be required to lift or move patients

  • Operating medical equipment

  • May come in close contact with infectious diseases

Nurse practitioners usually work in physician’s offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers and offices with other health practitioners.

How to become a nurse practitioner

These are the steps typically required to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner:

  1. Pursue an education: All nurse practitioners are required to hold a minimum of a master’s in nursing. Before being admitted to a master’s or doctoral program, they must typically hold a bachelor’s in a nursing program or a related health field and have obtained an RN license from their state. Obtain a master’s degree in nursing

  2. Acquire experience: Many employers require nurse practitioners who hold a minimum of five years of experience as a nurse. After completing your bachelor’s degree and obtaining your RN license, look for openings for RNs in your geographic area, ideally a role in the same field in which you want to specialize as a nurse practitioner.

  3. Obtain licenses and certifications: After finishing a master’s degree, states typically require graduates to sit for certification exams specific for the specialization in which they intend to practice. Some states also have additional licensing requirements. Search for licensing and registration requirements in your state and obtain the required certifications.

  4. Update your resume: After you have the required levels of education, experience, licenses and certifications, update your resume. Include your highest level of education, relevant work experience and certifications you have acquired.

  5. Apply for jobs: Search for openings for nurse practitioners in your area and identify the roles for which you are qualified based on your education, experience and your specialization. Apply using your updated resume and a well-crafted cover letter.

Nurse practitioner job description example

Central Coast Hospital is seeking an experienced nurse practitioner to join its staff. This person will be responsible for performing physical examinations and reviewing medical records for patients of all ages and genders. They will be expected to diagnose disease states, determine treatment plans and administer appropriate treatments. They will also be expected to participate in interdisciplinary meetings and committees and our performance improvement program.

Candidates are expected to hold a current California registered nurse license as well as a current certification as a nurse practitioner. A minimum of three years of experience providing direct patient care is required. The ideal client will have a high degree of professionalism, a positive attitude and strong communication skills.

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