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Dr. Nurse

January 7, 2013

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. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 31 percent growth in this field by 2026, a rate considered much faster than average. The demand has never been higher for health care professionals who can fill the gaps in care and create a meaningful impact in the field.

Demand for a New Type of Nurse

Senior patient talking with young doctor

Senior patient talking with young doctor

Registered nurses seeking out a larger role in patient health care can earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) through King University’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 University.

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
  • Pediatrics
  • Geriatrics
  • Primary care
  • Cardiology
  • Oncology
  • And more
Nurse who is standing against a wall

attractive young medical intern portrait

Find a New Health Care Career

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 University’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.