A nurse practitioner (NP) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has completed advanced nursing courses. Nurse practitioners focus on diagnostics, creating and delivering treatment plans, and providing preventive health measures.
What Do Nurse Practitioners Do?
Similar to a doctor, NPs can administer physical exams, diagnose illnesses, and prescribe medication. While nurse practitioners have more authority than RNs and practice physician-level care, some states require doctors to provide oversight for NP care decisions.
What’s the Difference Between an RN and a Nurse Practitioner?
The major difference between a Registered Nurse (RN) and an APRN is that APRNs are capable of managing acute and critical conditions. They collaborate with other health professionals and treat patients.
Advanced practice registered nurses can diagnose as well as treat the patients. The International Council of Nurses defines a Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nurse as “a registered nurse who has acquired the expert knowledge base, complex decision-making skills, and clinical competencies for expanded practice, the characteristics of which are shaped by the context and/or country in which s/he is credentialed to practice.”
When a registered nurse acquires a master’s degree in any specific area of specialization along with the above-mentioned skills, they qualify as an Advanced practice nurse.
Nurse Practitioner Salary
As of May 2020, the median salary for a nurse practitioner was $117,670 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics.
Depending on the state in which you plan to work and your experience, the pay of a Nurse Practitioner may vary. The highest average earning potential at this time is approximately $56.57 per hour.
The number of nurse practitioners is expected to grow an impressive 52% by 2029.U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Other Nursing Salaries
The nurse practitioner role is a very demanding job and hence the pay for the job is pretty impressive. While APRNs are typically paid more than registered nurses, the APRN’s who specialize as Oncology Nurses are paid even better.
The average annual salary for Nurse practitioner Oncology is about $140,000 while in the Pediatric Oncology field is $80,000.
How to Become a Nurse Practitioner
If you want to become an NP, you’ll need to have good problem-solving and interpersonal relationship skills. Additionally, you’ll need to be patient, dependable, as well as a good listener and communicator.
You’ll first need to earn your undergraduate degree. Next, you’ll need to obtain a license and then get a graduate degree before ultimately passing an exam and getting licensed as an NP in your state.
Learn more about becoming a nurse practitioner.