It’s always nice to feel wanted and right now, nurses are wanted throughout the country. The nurse practitioner profession can be a highly rewarding career with plenty of opportunities to help others and take on a much-needed role in the health care industry. Nurse practitioners have a lot of options these days from where they work to what they focus on. By helping to prevent disease and promote healthy living, nurse practitioners are referred to as true “Partners in Health” by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Learn what traits and skills are needed to succeed as a nurse practitioner.
|You are…||You should have…|
|Supportive||Good decision-making skills|
|Dependable||Good ethical standards|
|A clear communicator||Critical thinking skills|
|Good-natured||Good interpersonal relationship skills|
|An excellent listener|
Much of the physician’s approach is philosophical, research and study-based, while NPs are trained registered nurses who choose to continuously practice while they complete an advanced education. Both doctors and NPs may choose a core area of expertise, though NPs tend to take a more holistic and wellness-oriented approach to treatment through education and preventive care that lasts the entire life cycle. This makes them ideal choices as primary care providers for people of all ages and in all settings.
The nurse practitioner profession can be a highly rewarding career with plenty of opportunities to help others and take on a much-needed role in the health care industry. Nurse practitioners have a lot of options these days from where they work to what they focus on.
In fact, nurse practitioners continue to move outside of the commonly considered work places and besides doctor’s offices and hospitals may be found in schools and clinics, birthing centers and even provide in-home health care services.
One great benefit of a nurse practitioner career is the ability to specialize within the field and work just about anywhere. Just as doctors and surgeons may have a specialty, an NP may also choose a focused group or practice area based upon their interest. There are some generally recognized, certified specialty areas to choose from—all of which require a Master’s of Nursing (MSN) to become an advanced practice nurse. Take a look at your focus options:
A recent article in Medscape reported that nurse practitioners received higher marks from patients than primary care physicians when it comes to screenings, assessments and follow-up exams. The most pertinent plus was the amount of time patients reported their NP spent with them as opposed to that of a medical doctor. Most said they “didn’t feel their nurse practitioner was rushing through their appointment or exam to get to the next one—and answered their questions,” helping to teach them holistically about the prevention of illness and the importance of healthcare maintenance.
A 2015 article in Forbes magazine titled, “Nurse Practitioners More in Demand than Most Physicians,” says that when hospitals or facilities in the healthcare system look to fill a vacancy in their medical staff, where at one time physicians were the hiring focus, the recruitment “gaze” has now landed upon nurse practitioners and physician assistants. In fact, while primary care physicians are recruiting target number one, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are target 1A, says AMN Healthcare subsidiary Merritt Hawkins, adding “you can’t really build patient access or patient satisfaction without them.”
Because of their popularity with patients and healthcare staff, NPs are much in demand not only to help the patient population, but to ease the burden on overtaxed physician time and expense. Read on to find some statistical data about the job prospects for nurse practitioners in the United States.
As states change laws regarding advanced practice registered nurses, NPs are becoming more and more widely utilized as a source for primary healthcare, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact the BLS reports a whopping 35 percent job growth rate through 2024 for nurse practitioners, and estimates some 44,000 job openings in the field will occur. Considering that the average job growth rate for all other occupations combined is 7 percent for the same time period, the prospects for NPs is forecast to be excellent, especially for those choosing to practice in large inner cities or in remote rural areas, where medical doctors and healthcare treatment are at a premium.
Use our guide to nurse practitioner education and careers to answer your questions and get started on the path toward a fulfilling career helping patients and maximizing your success, by finding the right education program for you.
Preferred Experience: Two years or more nursing experience. Psychiatric nursing experience preferred. Prior charge nurse experience desirable.
Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education.
Physical Requirements: Work involves varying periods of sitting, standing and walking. Working with patients/ residents requires bending, stooping, teaching, lifting, balancing, kneeling, pushing, i.e., wheelchairs, geri-chairs, litters and similar activities. Also, it may be necessary to perform such activities as CPR and psychiatric intervention at a unit-specific level.
Emotional Demands: Many emotional demands are made upon an employee of a psychiatric hospital. The employee will be required to maintain composure and a calm demeanor at all times. Employees will exhibit an unbiased and non-judgmental attitude in working, with patients/ residents/ families and significant others as well as with interdisciplinary staff.
A report has been released that has demonstrated that the nursing shortage in Massachusetts is worsening. The report was compiled following a survey of 76 different hospitals in the state. This showed that in just one year, vacancy rates for registered nurses went from 3% in 2010 to 3.9% in 2011. If this trend continues, then the 19% expected growth rate that has been projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will be overtaken very quickly.
The survey also demonstrated that the largest shortage is currently in specialty hospitals, where the vacancy rate is 5.1%. Acute care hospitals, by contrast, have a vacancy rate of 3.9%. Specifically, the demand has been high in home health departments, pediatric critical care unites and emergency departments. Meanwhile, rehab facilities, post-partum/nursery units and skilled nursing services did not experience significant vacancy rates.
However, the state is keen to inform officials that the vacancy rate has actually improved over the past 24 years. The median rate over this time period was 4.1%, which is higher than the present rate. However, if trends continue, Massachusetts will once again overtake that rate within the next year.
Massachusetts is home to no less than 24 schools that are accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Yet, some 4,495 potential students had to be declined because there is insufficient nursing faculty staff. This demonstrates that the demand for nurse educators is also incredibly high in the state. At present, only 8.2% of Massachusetts 121,469 registered nurses are advanced practice nurses. Hence, the state is making a strong push towards creating opportunities for nurses to further their education to master’s degree level. It is also very important to address the needs of the 45 medically underserved areas in the state, which affect 56.71% of the overall population.
The state has also ensured salaries are high for nurses, thereby hoping to attract a greater skilled workforce. The average annual salary is $81,890, which is well above the nation average. Exact salaries vary depending on a number of factors, including experience and employer. Geographical location is also a very important factor, with the highest paid registered nurses being employed in the Boston-Cambridge metropolitan area. Unfortunately, the more rural areas of the state, where demand is the highest, tend to also be the least well paid. This is certainly something that the state will need to address.
Capella University Online Nursing Programs
Capella University offers CCNE-accredited online nursing programs designed to meet the needs of RNs at every career stage:
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