Nurse Practitioner Job Description
As the field of healthcare grows and expands, so have the type of jobs created to help care for patients. One of these positions that have helped bridge the gap between registered nursing jobs and physicians is a nurse practitioner.
Nurse practitioners are essentially very advanced registered nurses who have taken their careers to the next level after obtaining the required education to work as licensed nurse practitioners.
Like physicians, nurse practitioners can work in subspecialties, which include the following:
- Cardiac nurse practitioner
- Primary care nurse practitioner
- Emergency nurse practitioner
- Oncology nurse practitioner
- Acute care nurse practitioner
- Geriatric care nurse practitioner
- Psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner
- Surgical nurse practitioner
- Orthopedic nurse practitioner
- Pediatric care nurse practitioner
- Palliative care nurse practitioner and more!
The majority, two-thirds of nurse practitioners, decide to enter into primary care.
Similar to doctors, nurse practitioners can prescribe medicine to patients in all states. While some must practice under the scope of a physician, 26 states allow nurse practitioners to practice independently without a doctor’s oversight.
Job responsibilities of a nurse practitioner include:
- Physical exams of patients
- Diagnosing and treating patients
- Disease prevention and management of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions
- Immunization administration
- Ordering diagnostic and laboratory tests and interpreting them
- Prescribing of medications or therapies
- Performing procedures
- Educating and counseling patients and families on health matters
Only 15% of nurse practitioners open their own practices. Many are employed in healthcare facilities such as clinics, hospitals, managed care organizations, community health centers, employee health centers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, universities, and others.
Cardiac Nurse Practitioner Salary
According to the BLS, nurse practitioners earn a median salary of $123,780 a year, or $59.51 an hour. The field is forecast to grow at a rate of 40% through 2031. Outpatient care centers and hospitals pay the highest cardiac nurse salary, to practitioners.
The highest-paying subspecialties for a nurse practitioner are cardiac care, emergency care, and orthopedics. On the other hand, the lowest-paying positions are found in gerontology, pediatrics, and nephrology.
Common Spirit is advertising more than 7,100 open nurse practitioner job positions in locations throughout the U.S., including Arizona, California, Kentucky, Tennessee, Washington, and more. Common Spirit is a job talent community that connects job candidates with employers.
Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts has several open nurse practitioner positions. Tufts is an integrated, academic health system that has gained international acclaim for its cutting-edge health solutions.
City of Hope is regularly hiring for nurse practitioner jobs in a variety of departments and locations in Southern California.
Nurse Practitioner Training and Requirements
Nurse practitioners usually begin their careers as registered nurses and pursue graduate training. A nurse practitioner must earn a Master of Science degree in nursing, at a minimum. Then, nurse practitioners go on for additional training in the specialty they choose.
In addition, courses in pathophysiology, pharmacology, and advanced health assessment are also typical.
When all is said and done, in addition to the four years required as a registered nurse, nurse practitioner training consists of another two to four years of education, depending on the field of specialty that is chosen.
Certification requirements vary from state to state. Nurse practitioners will usually already have licensure as registered nurses. But in addition, nurse practitioners must pass a national certification examination and get an APRN license. Nurse practitioner certifications include AANPCB, PNCB, and ANCC.
It’s wise for nurse practitioner candidates to contact their state board of nursing to learn what is required to practice as a nurse practitioner in their state. In addition, there are usually continuing education requirements that must be met.
Nurse practitioners should also have the ability to think critically and make wise decisions. The ability to cope under duress is also vital as well as good diplomacy and communication skills.
If you’ve been working as a registered nurse and want to pursue higher learning and greater satisfaction in caring for patients, a career as a nurse practitioner might just be the next step for you.