Medical Professions Resources Directory: Nurse Practioner

How To Become a...

How to Become Nurse Practitioner


Nurse Practitioners are Registered Nurses with graduate level training in diagnostic and health assessment skills. Their training allows them to provide basic medical care. They relieve physicians of many time consuming tasks. Under the direction of a supervising physician. They interview patients, take medical histories, perform physical examinations, order laboratory tests, make tentative diagnoses, and prescribe appropriate treatments, Prescribe medication and medical devices if they have a Nurse Practitioner Furnishing certificate, Refer patients to physicians for consultation or to specialized health resources for treatment.

To become a either a Registered Nurse or a Nurse Practitioner you should be able to speak and effectively convey information, actively looking for ways to help people, be aware of others reactions and understanding why they react the way they do, understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents, ability to listen and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences, make judgment and decisions, able to diagnose and treat injuries, diseases and deformities like symptoms, alternative treatment, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health care measures. You should know biology like the living tissues of plants and animals, cells, organisms, and their functions and how they are connected with each other in the environment. Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services that could include assessment techniques, quality service standards, alternative delivery systems and customer satisfaction evaluation techniques. Knowledge of chemistry, problem solving and critical thinking. Nurses also need emotional stability to cope with human suffering and frequent emergencies.

Some Health Maintenance Organizations employ Nurse Practitioners in addition to physicians. This trend, which has heightened the demand for Nurse Practitioners, should continue as HMOs become common. Competition may be keen for the higher paying jobs in large cities.

Nurse Practitioners are licensed by the State Board of Registered Nursing. The requirements are: Possession of a valid RN license and completion of a program approved by the State Board of Registered Nursing. The program is graduate-level training offered by hospitals and universities. Training lasts one to two years and leads to a certificate or master's degree. In order to prescribe medication, Nurse Practitioners must be certified by the board. They must complete a pharmacology course and work six months under physician supervision. High school students should take chemistry, biology, anatomy, and physiology, and other science and math courses to prepare for nursing school. Prospective Nurses should exhibit leadership, self-confidence, and emotional stability. Other needed traits are a pleasant personality, patience, and an ability to deal with people of all cultures and social levels.

Nurse Practitioners must take 30 hours of continuing nursing education during each two-year period and renew their RN license every two years; this process automatically renews their Nurse Practitioner license.





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