Reasons to Become a Nurse Practitioner

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101 Reasons to Become a Family Care Nurse Practitioner

Abstract
Family Care Nurse Practitioners are advanced practice nurses with a specialty in family care. They deal with patients of all ages, and this includes treating, diagnosing, counseling, and teaching them. This paper will discuss the degree necessary for the position, experience needed to obtain the position, professional associations, and professional journals. It will also state the work environment, daily activities, salary, demands, and my personal view of the career. Lastly, it will include three articles from health journals that are associated with a Family Care Nurse Practitioner.

General Nurse Practitioners first came about following World War II in response to a shortage of physicians. The first Nurse Practitioner program was started at Duke University in 1965 (Strekley, 2008). Duke University’s program focused on teaching the nurses’ health maintenance and illness prevention. A study carried out by Congress in 1986 stated that “Within their areas of competence, Nurse Practitioners were able to provide care whose quality is to that of care provided by physicians. In preventable care and communication with patients, Nurse Practitioner’s were able to outperform doctors” (Strekley, 2008).

Today, general Nurse Practitioners are now referred to as Family Care Nurse Practitioners. These practitioners are usually based out of health clinics or doctor’s offices (Johnson&Johnson, 2009). They provide care to people of all ages, assessing, diagnosing, and treating common illnesses and injuries. The interactions Family Care Nurse Practitioners have with their patients put a great emphasis on teaching and maintaining good health (Strekley, 2008). They must be able to recognize both the social and emotional aspects of health care in addition to the other physical factors (Goolsby, EdD, MSN, ANP, FAANP, 2009). Nurse Practitioners are one of four classifications of advanced practice nurses. Being a Nurse Practitioner enables one to carry out many of the responsibilities that are traditionally handled by physicians (Strekley, 2008). Every state, with the exception of Georgia, allows Family Care Nurse Practitioners to function independently without a physician, but a physicians signature is sometimes required to validate the prescription (Goolsby, EdD, MSN, ANP, FAANP, 2009). In order to become a Family Care Nurse Practitioner, one would first become a Registered Nurse. There are several ways to obtain a Registered Nursing degree. One may earn an Associate’s degree, diploma, or a Bachelors degree of Nursing. Once the Registered Nursing degree is completed, it is then recommended that one work in the clinical field for at least a year before going back to earn a Master’s degree (Walsh, 2004). There are a couple of different routes to earn your Master’s degree. One may go straight from a Registered Nursing degree to a Master’s degree. These are available by combining 1 year of an accelerated BSN program with 2 years of graduate study. In 2006, there were 149 RN-to-MSN programs (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1). The other option is to go from a Registered Nursing degree, then earn a Bachelor’s in Nursing, and then a Masters degree in Nursing. In 2006, there were 629 RN-to-BSN programs in the United States (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1). The Master’s Program for Family Care Nurse Practitioners last one to two years and provides advanced study in diagnostic skills, health assessment, pharmacology, clinical management, and research skills. The program focuses on general work in the beginning, and then focuses on specific Nurse Practitioner specialties later on in the program (Walsh, 2004). National certification is not required by all states, but it is highly recommended. Certifications are offered by the American Nurses Association or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (Goolsby, EdD, MSN, ANP, FAANP, 2009). Certification typically involves...
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