How to Become a Nurse Practitioner : The 4-Step Guide

how to become nurse practitioner
how to become nurse practitioner

Becoming a nurse practitioner is a rewarding and challenging career that can have long-term benefits for those who pursue it. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are healthcare professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating ailments of the body with care from an allied health professional, such as a physician. NPs work under the supervision of a registered nurse, physician or other health professional. They help patients with everything from chronic conditions to acute injuries, as well as diseases like diabetes, heart failure and urinary tract infections. To become an NPs, you’ll need to first become eligible to take the NCLEX exam. Keep reading to learn more about how and why you would want to become an NPs — and what kind of education you’ll need before taking any steps toward that end goal.

What is a nurse practitioner?

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a type of registered nurse who specializes in primary care. NP professionals provide comprehensive care, including but not limited to the management of chronic conditions, injuries, obstetrics and gynecology visits, diabetes management, care for children and adults with special needs, and mental health services. Nurse practitioners can have their own practices that they own to earn money or work in doctor’s offices or hospitals as staff members. Nurse practitioners can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, physician’s offices, community health centers, and other health care facilities. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have completed a relevant graduate degree program, typically a master’s degree program in nursing (MSN or MHA), followed by at least 4 years of experience as registered nurses. They may also complete a PhD program in nursing for additional training and education. Nurse practitioners are licensed to practice independently with independent responsibility for their own patient care. They’re authorized to prescribe medications, perform procedures, and order diagnostic tests.

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

If you’re interested in becoming a nurse practitioner, the first step is to determine if you’re eligible to take the NP exam. You’ll need to be a licensed registered nurse and have a graduate degree in nursing. You’ll also need to meet eligibility requirements set by state laws, such as passing a state licensing exam. Once you’re eligible, you’ll want to start looking into NP programs. Find an accredited program near you and learn as much as possible about the program itself, the curriculum, the professors, and the facility. Make sure the program is accredited by an organization like the Accrediting Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).

Requirements for Becoming a Nurse Practitioner

If you want to become a nurse practitioner, you’ll need to meet certain criteria. First and foremost, you’ll need to meet state-specific qualifications. You’ll want to determine what level of education and training you need to be eligible to take the NP exam. Then, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared with the necessary education and/or training to meet those qualifications. NP education: A graduate degree in nursing, like an MSN or MHA, is required to be eligible to take the NP exam. NP experience: You’ll need at least 4 years of experience as a registered nurse to be eligible to take the NP exam. This experience can include experience in both hospital and outpatient settings, experience with patients who have a range of health issues, and any other experience you think will help you become an NP.

Associate’s degree

If you don’t have a graduate degree in nursing, there are still some paths to becoming an NP. Associate’s degrees in nursing are available for those who want to become NPs without a graduate degree, but they’re typically a shorter program and are often more focused on general nursing skills. Many community colleges offer associate’s degree programs in nursing that make it easier for students to transfer to a university to complete a graduate degree program. These programs don’t require as much coursework as a bachelor’s degree program does, but they do require at least a 2.0 average in order to graduate and be able to transfer.

bachelor’s degree

While an associate’s degree in nursing is usually sufficient to become a nurse practitioner, a bachelor’s degree will typically give you more credibility as a nurse practitioner. It’s also valuable for gaining more substantial experience as an NP. Most accredited NP programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. This is not a general rule, however; some state laws require you to have a certain degree before you can become a nurse practitioner.

Master’s degree

A master’s degree in nursing can open doors to advanced roles in nursing, such as advanced practice roles (APRNs). Some nurse practitioners choose to earn a master’s degree for personal enrichment, while others use it as a stepping stone toward a PhD program in nursing. Most nurse practitioners earn a master’s degree in community health, health services, nursing administration, nursing research, public health, health policy, nursing education, nursing leadership, or another area that relates to their practice. Nurse practitioners who have a doctorate degree in nursing are known as nurse-practitioner-physicians.

Doctoral degree

A doctorate degree in nursing can also open doors to advanced roles in nursing, such as APRNs. Nurse practitioners who have a doctorate degree are known as nurse-practitioner-doctors. The degree can take several forms and may be a PhD in nursing or a PhD in a health-related field, such as medicine or public health. Most nurse-practitioner-doctors have a doctorate degree in nursing, but some choose to complete additional coursework in areas that relate to their practice, such as medicine, public health, or health services, before applying for a program.

Registered nurse (RN) or registered nursing assistant (RNC) certification

If you’re interested in becoming a nurse practitioner, it’s also important to make sure you’re eligible to take the national certification exam to become a registered nurse or a registered nursing assistant. This certification is required to work as a nurse in the U.S. and will help you determine if you’re eligible to take the NP exam. First, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements set by state laws. Then, make sure you’re certified.

Noah Chapman
Hello, Im Noah Chapman. Im Editor And SEO analysis for Im a man with 3 beautiful angels towards me. That my beautiful wife, and two beautiful daughters.