A nurse practitioner (NP) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) that provides both mental and physical medical care to patients within a specific field of practice such as psychiatric care, neonatal care, Acute care and women’s rights among other specialized areas of health care.
Nurse practitioners can analyze their patients condition and prescribe treatments to help alleviate their medical condition.
Treatment may involve medication, physical and/or mental therapy, dietary changes, educating the patient about better health alternative and other types of treatment that can improve the patients health.
NP’s also educate patients about their medical conditions and provide them with medical advice on how to care for their condition and if possible how to best return themselves back to full health.
Because nurse practitioners work with patients and deal with many unexpected situations within a given week the number of hours they may end up working can vary.
Influencers such as the health care facility or hospital they work with, the staffing needs of that hospital or facility, any overtime the nurse practitioner chooses to work, patient needs that must to be met and any agreements made between the nurse practitioner and their employer (if they have an employer) can play a significant role in how many hours a nurse practitioner works.
One of the most impactful components in determining a nurse practitioners work schedule has to do with the organization that the nurse practitioner works for.
Practitioners that perform their duties at a hospital may be on duty for 8 hours or longer depending on that hospitals specific needs.
In some hospitals and health care facilities this may mean that the nurse practitioner will end up working 10, 12 and even 24 hour shifts in order to make sure that their patients are receiving the care they require.
It is also possible for nurse practitioners to work longer shifts during employee shortages, when an unexpected emergency pops up or when another nurse practitioner calls out or doesn’t show and their shift needs to be filled in order to maintain patient care standards.
On the other hand NP’s that perform their duties in a clinic or at a doctors office may end up working only during the offices business hours which may be 8am – 5pm Monday – Friday or whatever hours that health care office operates on.
Unfortunately it’s rare that a health care specialist such as a nurse practitioner would have a permanent set schedule because their work schedule generally depends on the organization they work for, any unexpected events that require them to work, and any agreements that were made between them and the organization they work for.