MSN: Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs

The MSN – Nurse Practitioner degree provides registered nurses extensive advanced education to expand the scope of their practice. Nurse practitioners obtain national board certification in a specialty, including women’s health, family nursing, pediatrics, adult, and acute care. Nurse practitioners focus on individualized care that includes prevention, education, and wellness as key priorities.

Requirements for Earning an MSN – Nurse Practitioner Degree

Nurse practitioner degree programs are rigorous. Curriculums integrate theory, research, and clinical practice to provide students a dynamic learning experience. After taking core courses, students are able to select a specialty track for which to concentrate their studies. The pediatric nurse specialty prepares registered nurses for careers as pediatric primary healthcare providers. These specialists provide wellness, prevent illness, and manage the health of children from birth through early adulthood. Adult nurse practitioners provide primary healthcare to adult men and women, including regular checkups and treatment for chronic and acute medical issues. Geriatric nurse practitioners provide advanced care to the elderly. This track requires students to demonstrate knowledge of the aging process and address chronic illnesses that affect the elderly.

Average Salary and Career Data

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners will continue to be in high demand, mainly in underserved areas such as inner cities and rural areas. Nurse practitioners are also in demand to provide health promotion, health maintenance, and specialized care to an aging population. The mean annual wage for RNs is around $68,000 according to The BLS, and a nurse practitioner with a master’s degree can easily ask for a higher salary than that.

Job Duties of a Nurse Practitioner

The specific duties of nurse practitioners vary based on the type of facility they work in. A hospital will usually have nurse practitioners in fairly specific roles, where as an NP in a small family practice will do some of everything. In general, these professionals diagnose, treat, evaluate, and manage both acute and chronic illness and disease with their patients. NPs may provide primary care in the absence of a doctor, and they obtain medical histories, conduct physical examinations, and write prescriptions. They can also refer patients to other medical professionals for specific types of care, such as physical therapy or prenatal care.

Online Master’s in Nursing Degree Programs

Earning a Master of Science in nursing (MSN) degree can open a world of career possibilities within the nursing profession. Listed below are featured online universities that confer MSN degrees.

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