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Nursing in A Nutshell

Currently nursing is one of the most in demand professions in the United States.

Nursing Practitioner (NP) is a registered advanced practicing nursing professional who provides necessary treatment, cure and solace to a patient. Nursing is a career that demands ability, skills and knowledge to provide appropriate treatment to patients on timely basis. It’s a highly paid profession where nurses earn somewhere in the range of $60,000 to $100,000 per year. A nursing professional usually bears the responsibility to assist physicians and doctors.

There are usually five steps involved in becoming a nurse practitioner. These include:

  • Earn an undergraduate degree: The aspiring nurses who wish to complete their degree at a fast pace and earn a respectful earning must complete an associate or a bachelor’s degree to start with.

  • Become a Registered Nurse (RN): Every state requires a practicing nurse to pass a National Council Licensure examination to obtain an RN license and enroll themselves into a graduate degree if they want to. Students require a RN license.

  • Obtain a graduate degree(RN): Registered nurses (RN) with a bachelors’ degree can obtain a graduate (masters) degree to further pursue their career as qualified nursing practitioners.

  •  Obtain Advanced Practice Nursing Licensure: Most states require additional licensure to work as an advanced practice nurse. Advanced practice nurses work in one of the four roles: nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist and nurse practitioner.

  • Specialize through Certification: The successful completion of a graduate degree program and licensure requirements prepares graduates to sit for certification examinations according to their specialty. Nurses can choose from available specialty examination nurse practitioners e.g. acute care, school nursing, family care, diabetes management, mental health, pediatrics and gerontology.

There are other certain common requirements that an NP must fulfill e.g. computer skills, masters’ degree, minimum experience of one year and other key skills such as decision making power, written and oral communication skills.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Degree in Nursing?

The University of Pennsylvania, the John Hopkins University and the University of California are among the top 3 universities in the U.S. that offer degrees in Nursing. Programs in Nursing that are commonly offered at universities in the U.S. include a 2-year associate’s degree, a 4-year bachelor’s degree, a 2-year master’s degree and a 3 to 5-year doctoral degree. These degrees are offered typically as full/part-time on campus programs however, many institutions also offer these programs online and may take longer to complete.

What Are the Requirements to Complete a Degree in Nursing?

To complete a degree in Nursing, the students must fulfill the required course credits in the form of lectures, lab practicals, assignments, presentations, projects, comprehensive exams and viva etc. In addition to these requirements, the students of master’s and doctoral degrees must write publish worthy journal articles as well as write and defend a thesis to graduate.

How Much Can I Earn With a Degree in Nursing?

With a degree in Nursing, people often work as Medical and Health Service Managers and Registered Nurses. In accordance with the 2018 data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income of Medical and Health Service Managers was $99,730 per year while Registered Nurses earned $71,730 per year.

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