Every field of nursing has a direct path that one can follow to obtain the education and experience he/she needs to work in their chosen field the field of nurse practitioning is no different.
The NP’s career path begins with obtaining a high school diploma or general education development certificate.
Once acquired your next move is to search for a nursing program at an accredited university or college that possesses a (BSN) bachelors of science in nursing program.
Depending on the university or college you choose some schools may only contain a 2 year ASN program, so you may need to think about transferring to a college or university that possess a 4 year BSN program after acquiring your ASN degree.
While the ASN program offers nurses a general education and teachers nurses about the basics of nursing the BSN program provides more in-depth training on science, physiology, the humanities and other related topics and is generally required of nurses that want to operate in a specialized sector of health care such as forensic nursing or pediatric nurse care.
Once you’ve accomplished obtaining your BSN and your RN license your next move is to select an NP masters program and decide on the area you want to specialty in and focus your education on.
Some of the fields related to nurse practitioning include:
- Women’s Health
- Adult Health
- Family Health
- Acute Care
- Holistic Care
As a nurse practitioner you’ll provide patients with in-depth medical care in the field(s) you’ve chosen to master, so it is important to choose a field you are interested in.
In some cases students may also choose to focus on more than one field and become specialized in different areas of health care, so this is an option as well.
Students who immigrate into a masters program will attain their medical training and education through textbook study, simulation work, video programs, classroom seminars, school lectures and accumulated clinical experience (overall clinical training and hours may vary depending on the chosen field of education).
Once completed you must maintain both your NP certification and RN license to be granted permission to work as a nurse practitioner within your given field.
7 Steps to becoming a nurse practitioner
- Acquire your GED or diploma
- Apply to an accredited university or college that offers a BSN program.
- Earn your BSN and acquire your RN license
- Choose your field of study for the MSN program (i.e. Acute Care, Adult Health Pediatrics, Psychiatry or Women’s Health)
- Apply for the MSN program.
- Pass the program and earn your MSN degree
- Find a nurse practitioner job within your field of specialty
It’s important to understand that as the nursing field continues to grow health care organizations are looking more and more for nurse practitioners that have acquired their doctor of nursing practice degree (DNP) and while you can still find plenty of jobs with a MSN degree you may want to consider earning your DNP as this will offer the most in terms of career choice and career independence.