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How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

Aug 27, 2008
Many nursing students enter the career with the idea of helping those in need of help. However, many of the medical professionals long for an advanced degree or license to take their career to new heights. There are many options for nurses and depending on the type of nursing that the student is looking for will determine which program they enter. In the recent past many nursing students have began shifting their focus from a BSN to a MSN. The MSN is a Masters in nursing and opens up great financial freedom and also a higher level of nursing. This article will review the educational tract and options that a person holding an MSN has in the medical field.

How To Obtain An MSN

After achieving the RN in your respective state there is what is known as a MSN in nursing. Now not every state is the same so it is important to check the nursing guidelines for your particular area or the area in which you plan to work. The MSN is an advanced education that is compared to the traditional Masters degree in other academic fields. The MSN prepares a student to be able to diagnose, manage and prescribe medication to patients. There are many programs and universities across the nation that offer this training and some of the course work can be completed off site, allowing for the student to hold a job while completing the program. In some states this is known as a Nurse Practitioner, and allows for the individual to work independently, but under the authority of a licensed physician. Nurse practitioner programs are moving to the doctoral level.

Areas That A Nurse Practitioner Can Work

Nurse practitioners can work in a number of medical settings and the only restriction is that they are under the direction of a licensed physician. Generally the licensed physician will review their cases or patients on a set schedule and help them make decisions about their care. Nurse practitioners can work independently and see patients without their supervising physician in the office, but they have to be available in case that they are needed.

There are nurse practitioners that work in just about every type of medical setting known. They provide a variety of tasks and are licensed to work with patients in a variety of settings. One can find nurse practitioners in the school medical setting, walk in clinics, obstetrics, heart clinics, rehabilitation, sports medicine and many others. Many private physicians will employ a nurse practitioner because of the cost effectiveness of their service. The physician can see twice as many patients by having the NP on staff, making them double the profit. The NP generally does not charge the same fees as a physician so the doctor can still retain a profit using the NP. Hospitals, clinics and community health facilities will often hire a NP because they are less expensive and provide the same services to the patients as a physician.

Positions For An MSN

Some nurses that acquire an MSN wish to enter into areas such as an educator, the mental health field or other community programs. The MSN can teach others about nursing and are often found teaching nursing school courses. This is because the individual that has obtained the MSN has not only worked as a nurse, but also has an advanced education that allows them to interject their insight to others. Some communities have education programs or awareness programs where they will hire advanced education nurses to educate the community about illnesses, health or other important medical needs. This is usually seen as a community service and is a great way to allow the medical profession to interact with the community for preventive measures.
About the Author
To find out more, visit Gene's website for information on online nursing schools , Becoming a Nurse, and going from an RN to a BSN.
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