Give an edge to you career by joining the fleet of nurse practitioners. Enjoy a highly rewarding career in healthcare where the responsibilities are similar to a doctor. Becoming a nurse practitioner does not require extensive training and education like physicians, but they are equally liable as a physician for patient care.

The main difference between a registered nurse and a nurse practitioner is that latter has completed master's degree and thus can write out scripts for medications whereas registered nurse cannot. Places where there is no availability of a physician or where patients require skilled and experienced care, nurse practitioners are in high demand.

Many hospitals hire their own fleet of practitioners as they are less expensive than physicians. Because of this reason, there is great opportunity for nurses in many hospitals and different healthcare settings. Furthermore, patients can get immediate care through a nurse practitioner as they do not have to wait for their primary care physician's appointment to get evaluated.

A nurse practitioner is able to evaluate and provide treatment for multiple branches of medicine. They can prescribe treatment for psychiatric patients as well as for general medicine. A practitioner can be consulted for physical exam, well-child visits, vaccination shots, etc. They assist physicians in minor surgeries and emergency procedures.

They provide can provide pre- and postnatal care. Like an internist, they can be consulted for any health problem whether chronic or acute. A practitioner conducts thorough physical exams and writes script for medications and/or for physical or occupational therapies.

These kind of nurses are in high demand in all patient care settings, e.g., hospitals, urgent clinics, emergency rooms, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, hospice care, etc. Their contribution to patient's recovery is crucial because of their vast experience as a registered nurse and extensive personal skills of counseling patients.

Since they are readily available and have concern for patient's recovery, patient receives focused, patient-oriented care by a nurse practitioner. If you want to become a practitioner, you have to become a registered nurse first. Therefore, you will need to do bachelor's program followed by a Master's of Science degree in Nursing.

This is a two-year program which includes treatment and patient care management. Study courses which are offered through this program are anatomy, medicolegal issues, diagnosis and treatment of common diseases, and pharmacology. After completion of this program, a registered nurse becomes a nurse practitioner who is now capable of counseling patient, doing their physical examination, and writing prescriptions.

Like physicians, practitioners also have specialization. For this, you have to select your choice of specialization during your master's program. There are different specialization fields available to choose from like gynecology, pediatrics, family practice, psychiatry, pulmonary, nephrology, neurology, obstetrics, podiatry, etc. Selection of specialty allows your master's program to be oriented to the specialty of your choice.

Even newly graduates residents have to work and assist physicians and experienced nurse practitioners in various medical settings in order to gain practical experience. After completion of your master's degree, you can take up license nurse practitioner exam. In addition, there are many great opportunities after becoming a nurse practitioner, which you can grab and further advance your career.

You can also apply and take up national certifications and accreditation tests to outshine your presence in the healthcare field. Since physicians have shown their reluctance to provide primary care to patients, nurse practitioners have been extremely beneficial not only in providing primary care to the patients, but also in providing focused, patient-oriented care.

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