Choosing to be a nurse can be a very flexible career option. While being a registered nurse is the first step to start a career in nursing. Applying for nurse practitioners can give you more authority, patient responsibility, and not to mention opportunities to earn more. You must learn the distinctive factors among different types of nursing careers to make an informed decision for your career future.
Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who have completed more schooling and a master's degree to attain the position. The position mainly focuses on diagnostic care and treatment as well as preventative health maintenance. If you want to pursue this career, then you must follow the steps to becoming a nurse practitioner. Generally, an aspirant first starts becoming a registered nurse and later completes additional education to become a nurse practitioner. Let's go through the following steps.
Step-1: Study for becoming an RN
As mentioned above, one of the first steps to becoming a nurse practitioner is to pursue a career as a registered nurse. In order to become an RN, first, you have to complete your graduation schooling. As a serious aspirant of nurse practitioner, it's wise for you to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
Step-2: Earn your BSN
It's essential for you to earn your BSN to apply for advanced schooling for nurse practitioners. It does not matter if you attain this before or after your RN license.
Step-3: Develop Clinical Experience
If you are an enthusiastic aspirant for becoming a nurse practitioner, it is recommended that you obtain some valuable medical experience as an early step. This way, you can leisurely explore the field and gain more exposure and a comprehensive understanding of this medical field. Later on, it would help you to determine in which area you would like to grow your career, and your journey as a nurse practitioner in that certain area would become more effortless.
Step-4: Select an area of specialization
After properly understanding the medical field, you can select an area of specialization, which usually includes mental health, emergency, pediatrics, family care, neonatal, and gerontology. Every area has its own specific requirements for skills and understanding. Try to develop those skills being an RN while gaining more understanding in the field to know which certifications and programs you would require to grow your position from RN to nurse practitioner.
Step-5: Get a degree in MSN or DPN
There are two types of degrees one is Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and the other is Doctor of Nursing Practice (DPN) that are important to obtain a license for being a nurse practitioner. One of the essential steps to becoming a nurse practitioner is to complete the correct type of academic session to pursue a career in the area of specialization you wish to focus on.
While MSN is a master's course appropriate for obtaining certification for nurse practitioners, DPN would be a much more in-depth study and extensive program for the medical nursing sector. Getting a doctorate certificate would land you in the highest position in the nursing field. Remember that every state has its own requirements for nursing practice schooling.
Step-6: Obtain your certification
After earning your RN license, it would be the second type of certification you would require to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner. Your certification would be issued by only that organization that is specific to your specialization. Keep in mind that most respected facilities require evidence for your experience in clinical practice, standardized test scores, and completing relevant coursework to approve your application for certification.
Step-7: Obtain state licensure for nurse practitioner
The last step to officially being a nurse practitioner is to acquire a state license where you want to pursue your career. Follow through all the above steps to becoming a nurse practitioner to acquire your licensure. According to the state requirements, you might need to renew your license after a specific time period.
It might seem like a long process; however, becoming a nurse practitioner would be more simple with proper preparation. All your efforts would be worthwhile if you had a passion for this medical field.
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