Home / Career Options / How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioners combine their treatment and clinical expertise in diagnostics with an emphasis on health management and disease prevention. Nurse practitioners work alongside a specialized physician to diagnose illness and prescribe medication. Also, a practitioner grants doctors referrals manage follow-up appointments and arrange for preventive health. Many are hired by doctor’s offices or hospitals to provide support and services to a specialized physician or doctors. To become a practitioner, you required the proper education and licensing as a registered nurse, certification, and graduate education. Below is a guide on how to become a practitioner.
How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

Get a high school diploma
To get admitted into a nursing school, you ought to have a high school diploma or else have passed the General Education Development test. It is important that you pay attention to courses like physiology, chemistry, and biology throughout high school. Knowledge of these courses is critical to becoming a registered nurse move ahead to a Practitioner.

Earn a bachelor’s degree
Bachelor’s degree in nursing is awarded by a university or college and takes four years to complete. The degree program is diverse and includes pharmacology, community health, clinical practice, human development, and microbiology. These courses are designed to teach skills related to supervision, communication, management, research, and quantitative skills. With a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a practitioner qualifies for a wider variety of certification and a higher pay grade. A bachelor’s degree program is a direct route to a post-secondary career in nursing, promptly after high school. You can turn to a bachelor’s degree program after you have gained experience in the field after achieving an associate degree or diploma in nursing.

Become a registered nurse
Another step to a career as a practitioner is through earning credentials as a registered nurse. To get registered as a practitioner, you must go through the right academic paths. For instance, you should have a bachelor’s or associate degree from an accredited school of higher education or a diploma from an approved program.

Get licensed
After getting registered as a nurse, the next thing that you should do is get a state license. It is a requirement of the state that all nurses must have a nursing license. To get a license, you will need to take the National Council Licensure Examination as a registered clinician upon graduating from your program. This licensing exam for registered nurses is recognized nationally. After this examination, prepare for the international equivalent if you are an international student, and you plan to work in the United States or if you have the plan to work overseas.

Gain experience
Having been registered and licensed, what you need next is a path to advanced practice. You can choose to go straight to the master’s level through nursing school or work in a hospital as a registered nurse before you seek certification as a practitioner. When you get a job as a registered nurse, you build experience to becoming a practitioner by working in a hospital or a clinic. You can work in hospitals, college campus, prisons, elderly care homes, and physician’s office. The entry-level work as a registered nurse is a stepping stone to a career as a nurse practitioner. Also, you can work as a nurse as you continue your education.

Get graduate education in nursing
Earning a graduate degree is mandatory for one to become a nurse practitioner. There are schools that will require you to have a few years of nursing experience before you get accepted into their practitioner program while others will allow you to gain work experience while pursuing a graduate degree. You will be required to obtain a master of science in nursing to become a practitioner. A master’s degree in nursing may take you two to seven years to complete. Make sure that the graduate program you choose has been duly accredited.

Get certification
After you have earned yourself masters in nursing, you are required to take the certification exam which is usually administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Once you have been certified as a practitioner, you can choose to take specialty exam that certifies that you have additional ability and knowledge to practice. Specialty certification includes diabetes management, pediatrics, forensic nursing, cardiac rehabilitation, rehabilitation, pain management, and nurse executive.