posted January 7th, 2013 by King University
Nurse practitioners discover new career in health care
Nationwide health care shortages and changing patient demands have created a boom for a new type of nursing professional: the nurse practitioner. Through continued education and advanced medical training, nurse practitioners can take on a physician’s role in many of today’s health care settings and help diagnose and treat a broad range of ailments. And, with a projected employment growth rate of 26 percent for nurses and a 24 percent employment growth rate for physicians within the decade, the demand for health care professionals who can act as a bridge between these occupations and fill gaps in various medical settings will greatly benefit the industry.
Demand for a New Type of Nurse
Registered nurses seeking out a larger role in patient health care can earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) through King College’s RN to BSN degree program to get on course towards a career as a nurse practitioner. Offered fully online, King’s BSN puts you one step closer to a new career in health care.
To keep pace with changing patient needs and more complex demands, the health care industry is shifting toward preventive care supported by public health efforts in lieu of the hospital-centric operating system of years past. Convenient care and retail clinics are popping up in communities across the nation to provide patients with immediate care at a much lower cost. However, while the industry is shifting toward a smarter, cheaper form of health care, many markets across the nation are simultaneously experiencing a shortage in primary care doctors and physicians, which has created a crippling demand for qualified medical professionals to staff this growing health care segment. Nurse practitioners have overwhelmingly been called to action to fill this gap in care and staff these health care facilities. A King BSN will help build a foundation for continued education towards reaching this advanced career opportunity in today’s health care market.
Nurse Practitioners Take on Physician’s Role
Many health care markets now see the value in staffing convenient care centers, retail clinics, private practices and even hospitals with nurse practitioners to help meet patient demand for expanded care and treatment services while keeping costs comparatively low. A nurse practitioner can take on many of the same roles as a primary physician, including consultation, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care in addition to the traditional nursing duties. At most health care facilities, a nurse practitioner can do the following:
- Take on the role of primary caregiver: Nurse practitioners are trained to take on primary care responsibilities in the absence of a physician. Not all states require nurse practitioners to work under the supervision of a physician, which gives qualified nurse practitioners the opportunity to open their own practices and lead various health care facilities in certain markets.
- Consult, diagnose and treat patients: In an era of preventive care, diagnostic testing provides answers to patients’ health concerns, which helps identify and treat ailments before they become life-threatening issues. Nurse practitioners can order diagnostic testing and review results to make official diagnoses and create effective treatment plans. Nurse practitioners can also write prescriptions in all states.
- Manage teams of medical professionals: Nurse practitioners are qualified to lead and manage teams of medical professionals in health care facilities for an optimum level of care. In addition to patient care responsibilities, nurse practitioners in management roles may also be responsible for staff scheduling, record keeping and management and department administration.
You will gain a stronger grasp of these job responsibilities through continued nursing education at King College.
Like many physicians, nurse practitioners can specialize in a particular medical field for a more focused career path. Some health care settings nurse practitioners may choose include:
- Emergency care
- Women’s health
- Primary care
- And more
Nurses have long played a significant role in health care by providing patients with support and quality care. And, nurses continue to be one of the most in-demand professions in health care and throughout the workforce, reporting some impressive job numbers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the nursing field will add nearly a million new jobs by 2020, which will make it the largest health care occupation. Many of those new nursing jobs will require an expanded skill set and continued education to satisfy the growing complexity of today’s health care market. Nurse practitioners are qualified to perform a broad range of medical tasks; the American Nurses Association reports that nurse practitioners can perform 60 to 80 percent of primary and preventive care services. The shift in the health care industry places emphasis on preventive care and public health, thus creating tremendous job opportunities for nurse practitioners.
Nurses who seek greater influence in patient care services will find career fulfillment as nurse practitioners. The average salary for a nurse practitioner is nearly $90,000, and the BLS reports an estimated 23 percent employment growth in the field within the decade.
Although the traditional nurse’s role remains critical to the overall effectiveness of today’s health care system, this role continues to change as more nurses seek to have a stronger influence on patients’ treatment plans; these nurses obtain advanced medical positions as nurse practitioners through continued education. King College’s fully online BSN degree program consists of 124 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 16 months. It is transformational degree that can deliver tremendous career opportunities.
Interested in learning more about our Online Nursing Programs? Click here to find out how to obtain your RN to BSN online!
King College has a reputation for academic excellence that goes beyond the classroom. Our online degree programs position graduates for an exceptional career or continued educational opportunities. More than 80 percent of King graduate survey respondents indicated they received admission to their first choice of graduate programs. Make an investment in your future with an online degree from King College.