If you feel like you are up to the task of offering the highest level of nursing care that there is, then becoming a nurse practitioner should be your career calling. What such professionals do, thanks to the unique education and training that they undertake, is execute a number of important tasks that most other health providers, such as RNs, are not licensed to perform.
Here’s what you need to do to become a nurse practitioner:
Become a registered nurse
To one day become a nurse practitioner, you first must become a registered nurse. This, in its own right, is a tough task, as you will have to take a lengthy academic path and get a lot of work experience to reach such status. Specifically, you would have to earn for yourself a degree in nursing, and you would have to spend at least 18 months of placement in a hospital or other clinical environment.
Get a BS, and then an MSN
You may have your valid RN license, but you can’t be resting on your laurels if you want to become a nurse practitioner — you can’t be thinking your time in education is over, either, as, in order to progress on your career pathway, you have to obtain for yourself a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. The best way to do this is to do it while you continue your work as a registered nurse, as doing that will see you kept abreast of all the latest trends in the real-life nursing world. For this reason, enrolling yourself on an RN to BS course, such as that offered by the St Francis nursing department, is crucial. Doing so will allow you the flexibility you need to both tend to your commitments as a working nurse and work towards your future career goal at the same time.
Even once that course is done and you have the diploma hanging on your wall, your journey is not over. The final step in your time in academia will see you enroll yourself onto a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) course, as getting that degree is regarded as the minimum requirement to become a nurse practitioner.
Obtain additional credentials
Your education and experience will not be enough to land you a job as a nurse practitioner right off the bat, though. To do this, you have to obtain additional credentials, particularly those that prove that you have what it takes to look after the specific patient population that you have set out to tend to. To obtain such credentials, you should work closely alongside the doctors in your hospital.
If you want to reach the top of the nursing career ladder by becoming a practitioner in the field, as you can tell from the information above, you’ve got your work cut out for you. If you’re dedicated enough to your craft, however, then the hard work will be nothing to you, and it’ll certainly be worth it come the end of your journey.