Nurse practitioners (NPs) are gaining in popularity in the health care field, and it’s easy to see why. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of NPs is expected to grow much faster than average at 45 percent over the next decade. In addition, as an NP, you will have more independence than as an RN (Registered Nurse) or LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse). You’ll also be able to work more independently of physicians, especially in primary care environments such as urgent care centers or physician offices.
It’s also an exciting way to make a difference in people’s lives. Whether you’re helping someone recover from cancer treatment or providing palliative care to those with Alzheimer’s disease, being NP lets you immerse yourself in every aspect of healing while still giving you plenty of room for personal growth. While all these reasons alone would be enough to make anyone want to pursue a career as an NP, there are many more you should consider, including the following three.
1. You can get your degree online.
Online programs are rising in popularity and are extremely appealing to those who need to balance their career with other obligations. Online nurse practitioner programs offer all of the flexibility of online schooling and often include all required clinical hours, providing students with enough hands-on experience to prepare them for entering into practice. It’s true that you can’t get your degree online without putting in some work. However, there are good reasons for continuing your education online. For one thing, it helps you continue to work full-time while earning your MSN.
If you’re interested in pursuing an online nurse practitioner program, look into schools accredited by The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). Once you’ve found a school that offers an online nursing program, check out their accreditation information on their website or call them directly. Also, keep in mind that each state has its own licensing standards. You’ll need to discuss that with your admissions advisor before registering for classes.
2. You’ll earn a respectable income.
Depending on where you live, NPs earn a yearly salary of somewhere between $116,000 and $133,000 per year. This makes them not only some of the highest-paid medical professionals out there but also some of our country’s most highly paid employees, period. Also, instead of completing years worth of training to get their BSNs, NPs can often finish in two years or less. Not only does that save valuable time and money, but it also means they are in line for higher earning potential since they will start practicing earlier. While earnings vary by region and specialty, you can look forward to a comfortable living no matter what, which is just one reason why pursuing an advanced nursing degree is a great choice.
3. You’ll have multiple opportunities across the health care spectrum.
Many nursing professionals like to work in various specialties throughout their careers in order to keep learning and growing in the field. With a nurse practitioner degree, it’s easy to do just that. You can pursue jobs and roles in different medical specialties. Some NPs take on administrative roles, while others spend their days providing direct patient care in clinics and offices. Regardless of which specialty path you choose, there are job opportunities throughout all health care settings. Whether you work in pediatrics or emergency medicine, travel to different facilities across town or across state lines, or manage your own practice, if you want to practice medicine with advanced education, a nurse practitioner degree is likely to get you where you want to go.