Nurse Practitioners are Registered nurses who have gone on for their Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN) or Doctoral Degree in Nursing. At minimum Nurse Practitioners need six years of post-secondary education. A BSN (Bachelor’s degree in Nursing) followed by a Masters degree in Nursing, will take about 6 years, another 2 if a Doctoral degree is desired, depending on how long it takes to defend their thesis. Nurse practitioners are licensed Registered Nurses who have gone on for further specialization and further licensure.
Nurse practitioners can work independently of physicians, as well as working under the guidance of physicians. They can diagnose ailments, prescribe medications, administer these medications, and take patient histories. Nurse Practitioners can open up their own clinics and see their own patients. There is a downside to being a Nurse Practitioner, which comes in long hours, stressful situations and a variety of patients that you might have to treat.
Nurse practitioners can choose to specialize in different areas of medicine, and get a license for each specialty. Family Practice, pediatrics, emergency medicine, gerontology, cardiology, or urology. They can work in hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, or without of any supervision from a physician. They can do what a Registered Nurse is capable of doing, but they also can do medical procedures that a physician can accomplish, such as minor surgery, reading test results and diagnosing medical problems based on the reading of these medical tests.
For many employers they represent a cheaper way to get quality medical care for their clientele, as nurse practitioners do not make the same salary as do Medical Doctors.