Nurse Practitioner (NP).
At an average 30k per year increase in salary, the jump from registered nurse to Nurse Practitioner is well worth it for most. Couple that with the fact that the need for new nurses is ever growing and many people have been choosing NP's over doctors as their primary healthcare provider, and you can see why it would be so important to continue your nursing education to achieve this certification. NP's fall under the umbrella of the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) and generally provide a high quality healthcare experience similar to that of a doctor. With increasing healthcare costs all across the board, many medical institutions are hiring Nurse Practitioners instead of doctors because their are less costly while being just as effective.
The one way that NP's distinguish themselves from doctors and physicians is that they try and focus on the person as a whole as opposed to just their injury or sickness. A NP will try to counsel and educate their patients on the effects their situation has on other loved ones, not just themselves. This holds true to some of the very basic core principals that a nurse learns at the beginning of their careers. Since Nurse Practitioners are a specialized class of nursing, they have the option of practicing in many different fields relating to nursing. Oncology, neonatal, women's health, and neurology are just a few examples of where you will find a NP being the major healthcare provider.
In order to become an NP, you must first meet the requirements to become an RN. Once you have been licensed as an RN, you may choose to receive the additional training and education required to become an NP. This training ends with no less then a Master's degree in your specialized field, and usually takes about 2 years of study and work. Once you have completed the required education and training, the final step is to take and pass a national exam to be licensed, and you can then be considered an Advanced Practice Nurse, and move forward to and even more specialized NP. While much work is needed to achieve this status, your time and effort will be compensated both financially as well as the recognition you will receive from the medical community.
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