With the demands for primary care providers expected to grow rapidly as the U.S. population grows and ages, experts have forecasted that the shortage of physicians will continue to grow. However, there has been some cause for optimism as predictions show that nurse practitioners may be able to make up for some of this lack of providers. This has led many registered nurses to ask a similar question. Should I become a nurse practitioner? The short answer is yes! Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and the time has never been better to consider this career move. Below are just a few of the reasons that you should begin the process today!
Reasons You Should Become a Nurse Practitioner
It is no secret that nursing is one of the most rapidly growing careers today, not to mention one of the most stable. We will always need nurses and this is especially true as Americans are living longer than ever before. However, many people do not know that certain nursing specialties are growing faster than others. Specifically, nurse practitioner jobs are expected to grow by 31% before 2022 compared to 19% for non-specialty registered nurses. With these kinds of job prospects, the time is perfect to become a nurse practitioner.
In addition to job outlook, nurse practitioners also enjoy the benefit of substantially higher pay. While the average registered nurse earned an annual salary of $68,450 in 2016, nurse practitioners earned an average annual salary of $104,610. Although there is certainly more education required to become a nurse practitioner, the financial reward is obviously very compelling. Should you choose to specialize as an APRN, your compensation could be even greater.
As a nurse practitioner, the extent of care that you are authorized to provide will become much broader. For example, nurse practitioners can prescribe medication, diagnose diseases, initiate treatment plans, and even order lab tests. Given the advanced education that you will acquire in order to become an APRN, you will be able to do even more for your patients than you ever could before. At the end of the day, few people become nurses without first having the desire to help others.
Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to become a nurse practitioner is the increased flexibility. While registered nurses are often subject to the schedule that is assigned to them, nurse practitioners have much more control over when they work. Typically, nurse practitioners work either 5 days per week for 8 hours or 3 days per week for 12 hours. This said, depending on what you prefer, chances are you can find opportunities to work a less traditional schedule as well. After all, nurse practitioners can even start their own private practice in some states.
The benefits of becoming a nurse practitioner extend far beyond those that this blog post has covered. However, these are some of the most prominent benefits associated with this career change. So, now that you’re convinced, you may be wondering how you can become a nurse practitioner. In order to adequately answer that question, we would need a separate blog post. However, generally speaking, nurse practitioners must hold an advanced degree of some kind. Typically, these degrees are either a Master’s of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Once you’ve obtained this degree, you’ll be all set to begin your search for nurse practitioner jobs right here on LocumJobsOnline.com!