Nurse Practitioner Programs – Everything to Know

Nurse Practitioner Programs

Looking for information about Nurse Practitioner Programs, look no further cause you are in the right place. We will talk about Types of Nurse Practitioner Programs , Requirements and nurse practitioner Job Description.

Nurse Practitioner Job Description:

A nurse practitioner, often plainly referred to as NP is a professional who provides primary care to patients in health facilities such as hospitals. A NP is a trained and certified professional responsible for analyzing and recording a patient’s medical history, ordering diagnostic tests, performing physical examinations, prescribing physical therapy and other health care tasks.

Types of Nurse Practitioner Programs:

There are two broad categories of nurse practitioner programs: clinical nurse practitioners and administrative nurse practitioners. Within these two types of health professionals are a variety of specialties that an aspiring practitioner can choose from. They include family and pediatric, adult care, women’s care, geriatrics, neonatal, occupational health, and acute care. A nurse practitioner program degree can be a very broad course but a learner can choose one or more specialties to focus on. This will determine the nursing career they will end up in after they complete the course.

Under clinical nurse practitioner programs, there are a number of career options that an individual looking to take the course can choose from. These are:

  1. i) Nurse Midwife: The responsibilities of a certified nurse midwife or CNM are to provide prenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal maternity care to pregnant women. Their work involves providing gynecologic examinations, record health statuses of the patients and prescribe medication.
  2. ii) Clinical Nurse Specialist: As the name suggests, a clinical nurse specialist or CNS is an advanced level practice nurse who offers care service to a group of people with a specific health concern or those in a certain age group. These nurses work with healthcare teams and physicians to ensure that patients get comprehensive care.

iii) Nurse Anesthetist: A nurse anesthetist or a certified registered nurse (CRNA) is a healthcare expert equipped with the advanced skills to organize and manage anesthetic agents. This professional often works with other healthcare experts such as surgical teams and their staff to prepare patients for medical procedures and minimize pain while controlling patient safety.

  1. iv) General Nurse Practitioner: A general nurse practitioner or NP is tasked with providing patient care in several subspecialties of healthcare such as rheumatology, infectious diseases, cardiology, pediatric oncology, and primary care as well as other areas. General nurse practitioners are the primary care providers who can stand in for physicians.

Administrative nurse practitioner programs are significantly different from clinical programs. Careers under the administrative option include:

  1. i) Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL): A clinical nurse leader is a healthcare professional ready to take on the leadership role and oversee casework management and patient care. The work of a clinical nurse leader is to supervise other nurses, motivate the staff to meet expectations and set standards and ensure conformity to regulations. Other roles of a clinical leader are to develop curriculum and clinical instruction seminars for student taking nursing courses.
  2. ii) Nurse Administrator (NA): A nurse administrator is usually the head or high-ranking nurse at a health clinic or a hospital. The responsibilities of the nurse administrator are to provide managerial support for the department and perform a range of administrative tasks. They also monitor staff to ensure that they follow approved procedures and assist physicians coordinate their staff.

iii) Nurse Manager: The tasks of a nurse manager fall under both nursing and administrative roles. This is a professional who monitors and directs staff as well as manage patient care. Health institutions hire nurse managers to observe, compare and find the best practices and techniques that the institution adopts. Other responsibilities include handling budgets, preparing reports, and drafting departmental operation and procedure manuals.

  1. iv) Nurse Educator (CNE): A certified nurse educator is responsible for training new nurse practitioners in a clinical setting. This expert also develops nurse practitioner program curriculum as well as other instructional strategies and oversees the training processes of new students.

What Nurse Practitioner Programs Involve:

nurse practitioner programsThe primary responsibilities of a nurse practitioner are to provide diagnosis, consultation, treatment, and follow-up care to patient. This healthcare professional often works under the supervision of a physician depending on the state’s regulations to ensure that specialty and age-appropriate medical care is provided to patients and completed as per instructions.

Nurse practitioners have a number of general nursing duties to fulfill including gathering the medical histories of patients, collaborating with doctors to carry out and document diagnostic tests, as well as perform routine patient examinations. Students taking courses in nurse practitioner programs are trained on how to take blood samples, check patient vital signs, deliver and serve meals, and maintain proper medical records.

Nurse Practitioner Program Requirements:

The requirements to become a nurse practitioner vary from state to state and from one career in the field to another. The typical requirements to become a certified nurse practitioner is a master’s degree in advanced nursing, a state-issued or national certification examination, and a valid RN license. Most states demand that a nurse practitioner takes continuing education classes or maintain a national certification to be able to renew a license while some demand that a nurse practitioner obtains a special licensing to be allowed to prescribe medication.

  • To earn a nursing degree and become a nurse practitioner, one must complete an undergraduate degree program that prepares a student for an entry level position in a clinical environment.
  • To become a registered nurse, one must apply for a RN license. The requirements to qualify for a RN license varies from state to state.
  • To complete a master’s degree in nursing, practitioners must have a bachelor’s degree to become NPs and take further studies to earn a doctoral or master’s degree in nursing.
  • To become an advanced practice nurse, most states require that an applicant obtains additional licensure such as in clinical nursing, nursing midwifery, and nurse anesthetics.
  • To obtain a specialized certification in a nurse practitioner program, an applicant must have successfully completed a degree program in the field and obtained licensure requirements to sit for examinations in the specific career.

Passing the national certification board examinations is not all it takes to join the nurse practitioner programs and seek employment. The process from graduation to employment is riddled with a sequence of events—including more examinations and licensure. This is what makes the nurse practitioner programs truly unique.