Nurse Practitioners: An Integral Role to Healthcare Facilities

November 8th 2019
Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor
Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor

NPs are able to work in a variety of healthcare settings, such as a hospital, physician’s office, or a clinic. Their functions include diagnosing patients, performing physical exams, dispensing medications to patients and more. Unlike a registered nurse (RN), NPs are able to hold decision-making authority similar to a physician.

A nurse practitioner (NP), or an advanced practice nurse, coordinates patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.1,2

NPs are able to work in a variety of healthcare settings, such as a hospital, physician’s office, or a clinic. Their functions include diagnosing patients, performing physical exams, dispensing medications to patients and more. Unlike a registered nurse (RN), NPs are able to hold decision-making authority similar to a physician.1

As of August 2019, more than 270,000 NPs are practicing in America. In addition, NPs hold prescriptive privileges, including controlled substances, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.3

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for nurse practitioners is expected to grow 26 percent from 2018 to 2028. This growth is expected to increase because of the demand in healthcare service careers, with an increased emphasis on preventive care and the aging population.2

To become a nurse practitioner, a RN would need to enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (BSN) before eventually earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to become an advanced practice nurse. Depending on the focus area you want to practice in, a doctoral degree may also be an option.1

References

  1. Advanced practice nursing fact sheet. Nurse Journal: Social Community for Nurses Worldwide. https://nursejournal.org/advanced-practice/advanced-practice-nursing-fact-sheet/. Published 2019. Accessed November 7, 2019.
  2. Job Outlook-Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners. Occupational Outlook Handbook.Bureau of Labor Statistics.https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm#tab-6. Accessed November 7, 2019.
  3. NP fact sheet. American Association of Nurse Practitioners. https://www.aanp.org/about/all-about-nps/np-fact-sheet. Published August 2019. Accessed November 7, 2019.

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