People either have a positive or negative view about seeing themselves working in the healthcare industry. One of the main benefits outside of the rewarding feeling of helping people is the monetary compensation; it is no secret that medical professionals tend to have sizable salaries. On the other hand, healthcare professionals tend to work longer hours than many other professions.
So in the world of nursing… is it worth it to look into a career as a nurse practitioner?
What is a Nurse Practitioner?
The main job duties of a nurse practitioner include performing exams on patients, doing diagnostic tests, treating any diseases or injuries, and also working alongside other healthcare professionals. Nurse practitioners can be found in any area of the medical field, whether it pertains to physical health or mental health, and they can specialize in caring for different types of patients, such as pediatric health, geriatric health, family medicine, or women’s health.
Nurse Practitioner (NP) vs. Registered Nurse (RN)
While these two job titles may sound the same, they’re actually quite different. Nurse practitioners have the authority to diagnose and treat medical conditions by prescribing medication, while RNs do not. NPs also typically work in private practices rather than hospitals and usually need more than a Bachelor’s degree. They can make up to $30,000 more per year than RNs.
Benefits of Working as a Nurse Practitioner
So now that you know what an NP does, why should you consider becoming one? Here are six benefits of working as a nurse practitioner.
- The average salary for a nurse practitioner is $116,173 per year. Depending on where you live and the amount of education and experience you have, you can make more or less.
- You have more flexibility within your work schedule compared to other types of nurses.
- NPs can specialize in a particular area, and work with a specific group.
- As a medical professional, you will be working in a respected profession.
- This is one of the fastest-growing professions in the medical industry.
- As an essential worker, your job prospects will always be high. This is also a position that can’t be outsourced.
Overall, the majority of NPs have stated that while the work is hard, it’s all worth it. This is a very rewarding career, as with any career that allows you to help other people. With the healthcare industry constantly changing, nurses of all types are considered the backbone of the medical field.
NPs even have the option to work remotely with services such as Telehealth. This is a great option for a working mother (or father) who wants to advance their career but are afraid of working in the health industry due to the long hours medical professionals are known to put in.
How to Become a Nurse Practitioner
Becoming a nurse practitioner does require a bit more schooling. The average nurse practitioner holds a Master’s degree in nursing, and some may also have Doctoral degrees. Nurse practitioners must also be licensed in the state that they plan on practicing in. Many NPs also start off as RNs early in their careers, gaining valuable experience.
Once you’ve received your Master’s (or Doctorate) degree, you will need to pass an exam and become licensed. When all of that is taken care of, you can start applying to jobs as a licensed nurse practitioner. When job hunting in the healthcare industry, it’s best to search for jobs on job niche sites, which are job sites specifically for a particular field of work. These types of sites are dedicated to helping you find nurse practitioner jobs and other medical-related jobs.
This career not only has monetary rewards but personal rewards as well. If you have a passion for helping a particular group of people, such as children or the elderly, you can specialize in that area. You also have a little more freedom than other health professionals when it comes to the hours you work.