You have probably seen a nurse practitioner from time to time when visiting the family doctor. Nurse practitioners are nurses, but they are nurses with PhDs. Nurse practitioners don’t have the medical school experience that doctors have, but they have enough education and training to diagnose minor conditions and prescribe medications. If you have been considering furthering your nursing career and advancing your education. Here are some reasons why you should consider becoming a nurse practitioner.
Use Your Medical Knowledge
Being a nurse can be very frustrating, especially when you have years of experience under your belt. You have seen procedures done hundreds of time and been in the room when some rare and unique illnesses were diagnosed. When new doctors come out of med school, you probably want to shout diagnoses and treatments from the rooftop. You know most of the answers but you aren’t allowed to say them because you’re not a doctor. If you become a nurse practitioner, you will be allowed to use the medical knowledge that you are bursting at the seams with and diagnose some patients yourself.
Best of Both Worlds
Nurses are busy and often work long hours, but their jobs are much more flexible than doctors. As a nurse, you can find part-time jobs and hospitals that understand you can’t work more than eight-hour days. Doctors, on the other hand, have no choice in the matter. They are signing up for working 36 hours straight and rarely going home for the first several years. As a nurse practitioner, you get to see your own patients and use your medical training, but you don’t have to suffer the long hours and high expenses of medical school, plus internships and residency. However, you will still need to go back to school for your PhD. Look into schools like the University of Cincinnati to see what you need to do to become a nurse practitioner.
As a nurse practitioner, you will have more doors open to you. Many different facilities look specifically for nurse practitioners because they cost less than doctors and can still do they work that they need to have done. One opportunity is the ability to work in retail clinics. Retail clinics are great for nurse practitioners with children. They have set hours so there are never surprise emergencies or extra shifts. You can go to work when the retail clinic opens and go home when it is time to close. Many doctor’s offices look for nurse practitioners as well. They like to have a nurse practitioner see new patients and patients who need to come in for colds, the flu, earaches, and other minor issues. It allows them to get more patients in the office and treated. You can also become a mentor with an advanced degree. You can learn more about being a mentor here.
If you’re getting tired of being on your feet all day or just need a change of pace, there are many opportunities for nurse practitioners to take administrative roles and step back from patient care. For example, many nurse practitioners get jobs representing the nurses in the nurse’s union. It would be your job to speak to hospital administrations and follow up on complaints from the nurses, along with trying to work out solutions to the complaints. In addition to the union, there are also administrative positions that require nurse practitioners to fill them at hospitals and other medical institutions. This can allow you to sit back behind the scenes if you would like to do something new for a while.
As you can see, becoming a nurse practitioner has many benefits. You can gain more knowledge and have new roles. You can perform many of the duties as a doctor or work behind the scenes as an administrator.