Healthcare workers in the United States work together to provide the best possible care for patients that come into their facility. Patients go through different waves of health care professionals before seeing an actual physician. Healthcare systems use a nurse practitioner, which is a registered nurse with more education and specialization, to help treat a patient in a timely manner. According to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, NPs have been providing care to patients for over 45 years. The year 2011 has seen 140,000 practicing nurse practitioners in the United States alone, with 9,000 more expected to enter the work force (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners a, 2010). With statistics demonstrating great expectations of growth in the field, a great outlook of future jobs is insight for students.
The education of a nurse practitioner includes a graduate program after completion of a certified nursing program. Most graduate programs present its graduates with a master’s degree, but as competition continues to rise, more schools are now presenting doctoral degrees. A NP program teaches students the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for national certification in the field. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) suggested that by 2015, most programs will make the change and award their graduates with a doctorate. This degree is formally known as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners b, 2010).
Each state sets their own regulations that a NP must follow in order to keep their license in that state, although most are certified nationally in the specialty of their choosing (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners a, 2010). A nurse practitio...
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American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. (2010). Position Statement on Nurse Practitioner Curriculum [Brochure]. Austin, TX.
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. (2010). Frequently Asked Questions: Why Choose a Nurse Practitioner as your Healthcare Provider? [Brochure]. Austin, TX.
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