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Nurse Practitioner

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a highly skilled, certified nurse with a masters or doctorate degree.  For many patients, a nurse practitioner serves as their primary medical provider rather than a doctor.  NPs can write prescriptions and work independently.  They take care of patients, performing many of the same responsibilities as a physician. A Nurse Practitioner can be found in any number of doctor’s/health care offices.  Here are a number of Nurse Practitioner jobs that pay nearly the same salary as a physician. 

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How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

To become a certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP) you'll need to start by getting a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Once you have completed your bachelors in nursing, you will be eligible to obtain your RN and begin working as a registered nurse. Your nurse practitioner schooling will be within a master of science in nursing program (MSN). Depending on your area of interest, you may need to get 1 to 2 years of work experience before being excepted into a Masters program. Once you have chosen your specialty within your masters program and completed your clinical experience as a nurse practitioner, you will be ready to take your board certification through the American nurses credentialing Center (ANCC).  Specific board certifications are also required for various nursing specialties. 

Nurse Practitioner Programs

In general, nurse practitioners are certified registered nurses with a masters specialty.  There are a number of Nurse Practitioner jobs available.  The key is finding the nursing schools that offer the specialty that you’re looking for.  Whether it’s becoming a certified midwife, or an Intensive Care Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, being an NP pays off.  NP Salaries can range between $80,000 and $250,000 per year depending on your area of expertise and your experience.

Online nurse practitioner programs are a great way to get nursing classes done on your own time.  Online nursing schools offer flexible study schedules.  And online school is now widely available.  In fact, even some of the top nursing schools offer online study options. 

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What is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

A Neonatal NP or nurse specialist (NNP) works with newborns.  Their patients may be healthy newborns ready to head home, or distressed NICU babies.  Neonatal Intensive Care Nurses are certified and highly trained to work with intubation, newborn IVs, and most other treatments necessary to help their recovery.  Neonatal Nurse Practitioner programs are found within masters degree nursing specialty programs.  Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Salary ranges between $80,000 and upwards of $125,000 per year. 

What is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses (PMHN) are trained in specialty nursing to work with mental health disorders.  They may work with groups, families, or individuals, assessing various mental health disorders and needs.  Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (PMH-APRN) treat patients in much of the same way that a psychiatric physician would.  Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner programs are widely available and fall within nursing masters degree specialties.  Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner salary is generally between $90,000 and $100,000 annually. 

What is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)

A pediatric nurse practitioner cares for children in the same capacity that a pediatrician would. Many patients see their pediatric NP instead of a doctor. NPs can write prescriptions, treat illnesses, write up physicals, and maintain most of the same practices as a physician.  Pediatric Nurse Practitioner programs are available in most MSN programs within masters nursing specialty programs.  Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Salary can range between $90,000 and $150,000. 

What is a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

A family nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who works with most family health needs including disease prevention, prescription writing, and most of the practices used by family practice physicians.  Many people visit an FNP rather than an MD physician.  Family Nurse Practitioner programs are found as specialty masters nursing programs.  Family Nurse Practitioner Salary can range between $85,000 and $120,000 per year. 

What is a Cardiac Nurse Practitioner

This is one of the highest paid nursing jobs available.  These highly skilled nurse practitioners specialize in cardiac health.  They may work with congenital heart defect patients or patients with adult-onset heart disease.  Depending on location, Cardiology Nurse Practitioner salary can reach over $200,000 per year.  In less populated cities, Cardiac NPs can make around $115,000.