The nurse practitioner profession came into existence during the 1960s. This was a time when the medical profession was experiencing a serious shortage of physicians. A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has had additional education and clinical training. They are able to give patients both acute health care treatments as well as provide preventative services.
A nurse practitioner is trained to take a patient’s health history. They are able to provide a complete physical examination. They can interpret laboratory results and provide a medical diagnosis. A nurse practitioner is also able to write prescriptions and help manage a patient’s medication regiment. They also provide referrals to other healthcare professionals when appropriate. The can also provide health counseling and more.
A nurse practitioner is required to have a license to practice in the state where they are employed. They must graduate from an accredited nurse practitioner training program. In some states they must be both board certified as well as receive a passing grade on their state’s licensing examination. Most states have mandatory training requirements for all nurse practitioners.
Nursing is the biggest health-care profession and nurse practitioners are much sought after in the medical field. Information provided by the American Nurses Association shows that over 79 percent of primary and preventive care received by patients can be done by a nurse practitioner. During their career an experienced nurse practitioner will usually have worked in one or more clinical areas.
Areas of Employment
In many practices, the nurse practitioner is the primary care provider for patients. They can also specialize is different areas of medicine such as orthopedics, acute care, endocrinology, psychiatry and more. Beyond the medical environment, a nurse practitioner can also serve in hospital or healthcare administration. Some teach at universities and others open up their own practice. There are even nurse practitioners who are consultants in industries such as pharmaceutical or insurance.
There are many factors to be considered when determining the salary of a nurse practitioner. The geographic location where a nurse practitioner is employed is a factor. The level of education obtained prior to working in the field is also a consideration. Over 89 percent of all nurse practitioners have a master’s degree and less than eight percent have doctoral degree. A nurse practitioner with a Bachelor’s Degree can earn in the mid $80,000 range. When a nurse practitioner has a Master’s Degree they can earn in the low $90,000 range. Those who have a Doctoral Degree can earn in the high $90,000 range and more. A full-time nurse practitioner with a high demand specialty can have a yearly salary of up to $94,000 and more, according to data provided by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
Nurse Practitioner Job Outlook
Nurse practitioner salary comparison by state
New Hampshire (NH)
New Jersey (NJ)
New Mexico (NM)
New York (NY)
North Carolina (NC)
North Dakota (ND)
Puerto Rico (PR)
Rhode Island (RI)
South Carolina (SC)
South Dakota (SD)
Washington DC (DC)
West Virginia (WV)