Nurse practioner

health care

educational requirements

Master of Science in Nursing

These education programs take 2-3 years to complete. They focus on providing students with the skills necessary to enter professional health settings as nurse practitioners. Graduates are eligible to seek professional certification. Common courses include:

  • Health promotion
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Nursing theories

Doctor of Nursing Practice

While completing a Master of Science in Nursing is generally enough to enter the profession, students may opt to complete a doctoral degree program to further enhance their career opportunities and expertise. Programs teach advanced practices in order to better meet patient needs. They can also qualify graduates to become teachers in nursing. Common courses include:

  • Population health
  • Leadership
  • Behavior complexity
  • Capstone project


Obtaining licensure as a registered nurse through the National Council Licensure Examination - Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), is required for all nurse practitioners. This is a post-undergraduate prerequisite to becoming an RN, which is a prerequisite to becoming a NP. Passing the NCLEX-RN proves that RNs have the necessary skills to work in the field.

Nurse Practitioner Credentialing

After completing master's degree programs, graduates are eligible to obtain professional certification as NPs. Nurse practitioner programs normally focus on one specialty area of nursing and graduates generally choose to seek certification in the same specialty. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center are two credentialing bodies that offer certifications in nursing. These certifications must be renewed every five years in order to continue development within the profession

working coundtion

Nurse practitioners work in offices and clinics The environment is indoors, well lit and generally comfortable. Working hours can be long with some week-end work and on call hours. A work week in excess of 40 hours is common. The shift to electronic documentation requires a significant amount of time spent on a computer. Eye strain and repetitive motion injuries are possible.

job requirements

Areas of Specilization

Most nurse practitioner degree programs offer an area of specilization. These may include:

  • Geriatric Primary Care
  • Gerontology Acute Care
  • Family Primary Care
  • Pediatric Primary Care
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Health Systems Management
  • Public Health Nursing
  • Nurse-Midwifery
  • Nurse Anesthetist

Master of Science in Nursing

Commonly referred to as an MSN, the Master of Science in Nursing program offers the core skills and training necessary for licensure as a nurse practitioner. Coursework may include:

  • Theories and concepts of nursing
  • Advanced Nursing Research
  • Pathophysiology
  • Health Assessments
  • Advanced nursing roles and responsiblities
  • Nursing and the Healthcare System
  • Nursing Policies
  • Curriculum Design and Development


This accelerated program offers RNs an opportunity to go straight to a masters in nursing, often receiving a bachelors degree in the process. The program is usually intensive and requires full time study.

Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration (MSN/MBA)

The MSN/MBA dual degree program is excellent for nurses who wish to enter into a more administrative role.

Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Public Health (MSN/MPH)

THe MSN/MPH program prepares a nurse for work in the area of public health as a nurse educator, public health educators or community healthcare worker. In this role, you may teach programs like breast self-examination, osteoporosis prevention, or healthy lifestyle for controlling diabetes to diverse populations with varying age, gender, and socio-economic background.

PhD in Nursing

A PhD in Nursing or Nursing Doctorate program offers advanced training in nursing theories, leadership, and practice. Many doctoral students go on to become academic nurses, including the areas of nursing research and teaching.

Nurse Practitioner License

Each state requires nurses and nurse practitioners to be licensed. One of the prerequisites for becoming a nurse practitioner is being a registered nurse (RN). In face, every state requires nurse practitioners to hold an RN license. In addition, 24 states require a master's degree and 35 states require national certification. This shows sate each states requirements for a license. Because laws and regulations change frequently, be sure to check with the State Board of Nursing in the state where you wish for a nurse practitioner the most recent requirements.

National Certification

As with license, each state has specific requirements about which national certifications it will accept Two of the most common. Other certification organizations


pen doors to new opportunities:An advanced education will not only open the door to countless new job opportunities, but will also provide you with the knowledge and experience necessary to provide high-quality healthcare services in a range of specialty areas to those in your community and beyond.

2. Career enhancement: Over the past four decades, the role of the Nurse Practitioner has grown immensely and career opportunities are not limited to just the clinical setting. Nurse Practitioners spearhead vital medical and nursing research, are educators within the classroom setting, hold key positions in medical-related corporations and play an important role in patient advocacy groups.

3. Professional longevity: The world of healthcare as we know it is evolving and will most likely continue to do so in the years to come. Nurse Practitioners will play a vital role in the expansion of healthcare services with their unique ability to provide high-quality and cost-efficient healthcare.

4. Financial benefit: An advanced education not only increases your marketability as a medical professional, but also often results in higher-paying positions.


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