- Registered Nurses Drop Nursing School – Nurse Practitioner Training Happens
To become a nurse practitioner (PN), you must earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) or an Associates of Science in nursing (ASN/ADA). To be an NP, you should have completed an associate s degree in nursing (ASN). Nurse practitioner education and clinical nurse training is an advanced master degree nursing program which enables nurse to advance to professional nurse practitioner status. NPs are doctor’s nurses who diagnose, treat and prevent illness using medical and nursing skills.
There are nurse practitioner schooling programs that offer online course work as well as on campus programs. For those seeking accelerated online nurse practitioner schooling and training there are online schools that offer both. These programs prepare students to enter the profession by providing advanced practice nursing instruction with a focus on the theory and application of nursing knowledge and skills. Some of the courses include clinical basics, anatomy and physiology, general medical practice, basic nursing care and administration, critical care, health management, and infectious disease care.
In most states nurse practitioners are required to obtain a license in order to practice. States usually require two years of college training and four years of practical experience. However, many nurses do not obtain the license in four years but in two years and three years they can qualify for the license. Although not all states require nurse practitioner education and licensing to practice, some states do not recognize dual licensing status for two years of practical experience and four years of college education. Nurses can complete their nurse practitioner education and obtain their license in one year. A few states recognize two years of college education plus three years of experience and nurse practitioner license at the same time.
Many nurses choose to go on to pursue nurse practitioner schooling and training after completing their education and licensing. These nurses can specialize in several areas of nursing including pediatrics, family or community health care, emergency care, adult or pediatric, geriatrics, critical care, home health care and women’s health. Nurses can also choose to be an RN-BSN, RN- MSN or a BSN nurse specialist. There are four main areas of RN-BSN nurse specialistry; clinical nurse specialist, advanced nurse assistance, direct patient care and laboratory nurse specialist. All these categories have their own subcategories and each subcategory requires different educational requirements and licensing requirements.
The online route to nurse practitioner schooling is a great option for working nurses who may have a full time employment and the opportunity to attend evening classes at the convenience of their own homes. Some online schools even offer online nurse practitioner training and certification as well. With the rising cost of housing and working, it makes great sense to try online learning for the chance to save money and to get the coursework completed as quickly as possible.
Some nurse practitioners programs are part of an overall continuing education initiative at a state college or university. Other states encourage nurse practitioners to take part in online education courses as part of their continuing professional education efforts. While there are a number of online educational programs designed to provide nurse practitioners with the same education as those attending traditional campuses, some of these online courses are designed more for the nurses themselves. While some of the general education courses, such as English Composition, will be the same, the focus of the course will more than likely be on nursing skills and practice and less on lectures and information about nursing theory and concepts. Most online nursing programs are designed to provide students with a basic understanding of concepts and then allow them to pursue more specialized education in specific areas of nursing.
Nurses who wish to pursue NP certification have the opportunity to earn two different levels of degrees – a licensed practical nurse (LPN) degree and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. While most states require that all licensed nurses have at least a bachelor’s degree before they can apply for registration, nurse practitioners can complete the process earlier and bypass the requirement for a LPN. If a nurse practitioner chooses not to go straight to the RN profession upon graduation, he or she may do well to pursue further nursing education at a community college or trade school first. Online learning is also an option for registered nurses who want to earn an advanced degree and whom have already completed a bachelor’s degree. However, online schools are often more expensive than onsite campus programs, and students may need to schedule part time or full time hours to pursue this type of advanced education.
While nurse practitioners can provide much of the same job services as nurses, their scope of practice varies from specialty to specialty. Some examples of such specialties include anesthesiologists, physician assistants, physical therapists, dental hygienists, podiatrists, and social workers. As specialties shift towards expanding their scope of practice, the role of the nurse practitioner will also expand. Nurse practitioners are generally thought of when people think of NPs.