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Advanced Practice Nurse Job Description, Career as a Advanced Practice Nurse, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

nurses nursing scope opportunities

Education and Training: Advanced Degree in Nursing

Salary Median: $57,280 annually

Employment Outlook: Excellent

Advanced practice nurses are Registered Nurses with advanced clinical education. They have better knowledge and skills compared to Registered Nurses, as well as broader scope of practice. Their primary duties revolve around planning, implementation, and evaluation of therapy required by patients. Advanced practice nurses may choose to work as independent professionals or in collaboration with physicians, focusing on providing primary healthcare services. They are also authorized to prescribe medications throughout United States.

Advanced practice nurses can choose to specialize in specific fields of healthcare. Specializations include: clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives, and nurse practitioners.

The duties of advanced practice nurses across the various specialties are highly challenging and broad in scope. In every specialty, they are next only to the doctor in providing patient care. For example, nurse anesthetists carry out the whole range of work starting from provision of anesthesia to taking care of other procedures related to the surgery.

Education and Training Requirements

Advanced practice nurses must have a master’s degree, which is generally a Master of Science in Nursing. They can also opt for doctorate degrees like Doctor of Nursing Practice. However, a doctorate degree is not mandatory for practicing as an advanced practice nurse.

A certification is required for those who would like to work as specialists, such as clinical nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse specialists, and nurse-midwives. After completing the program prescribed for a specific area of specialization, an advanced practice nurse achieves national certification.

Getting the Job

Advanced practice nurses can acquire valuable practical experience working as practical practice nurses in hospitals or with doctors. Good performance and experience can open up opportunities for more challenging responsibilities and positions. They can progress to assume managerial or administrative roles. Those who work independently can provide consultation services.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Advanced practice nurses have good opportunities when it comes to employment and scope of advancement. Most practitioners are employed by hospitals, while others find work with nursing care facilities, physicians, government agencies, and educational services.

Employment opportunities are expected to grow at a rapid rate across all the specialty areas. Job openings for advanced practice nurses are increasing fast, especially in inner city and rural areas. In the coming years, this is expected to give rise to thousands of job opportunities.

Working Conditions

Advanced practice nurses generally work in comfortable, well-lit health care facilities. Those working in home and public health might need to travel to community centers, schools, and homes of patients. The occupation can be physically and emotionally demanding as providing care is a 24-hour job. There are times when advanced practice nurses might have to be on call throughout the day.

Where to Go for More Information

American Nurses Association
8515 Georgia Avenue
Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3492
http://www.nursingworld.org/

American Association of Colleges of Nursing
1 Dupont Cir NW # 530
Washington, DC
http://www.aacn.nche.edu/

The Internet Journal of Advanced Nursing Practice
http://www.ispub.com/ostia/index.php?xmlFilePath=journals/ijanp/vol1n2/scope.xml

Earnings and Benefits

Salaries of advanced practice nurses are largely dependent on their place of employment. According to data collected in 2006, the highest earners were those working with employment services. They reported a median annual salary of $64,260. However, median yearly salary of advanced practice nurses employed by nursing care facilities was $52,490.

Additional benefits might include bonuses, educational assistance, flexible work schedules, and child care. However, these depend upon individual employers. Advanced practice nurses can also choose to work independently or take up a part-time position.

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