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Requirements to become a Nurse Practitioner

By John Conrad, 25.07.12 | Comments

Healthcare is certainly one of the most stable professions during this tough economy period. Even though nurses are continuously helping people to heal - more people will continually get sick, it is simply part of being human. This is the reason why nursing is one of the quickest growing careers in the South Africa today.

Registered Nurses (RNs) who have received additional advanced medical educational training to offer comprehensive healthcare to their patients are also referred to as Nurse Practitioners. The duty of a Nursing Practitioner can be likened to the responsibilities and tasks of a physician. Nurses typically serve as the primary caregiver for patients. Nurse practitioner’s duties consist of performing physical (medical) exams, diagnosing and treating illnesses, and prescribing medicine.

Educational Requirements for a Nurse Practitioner

The necessities needed to become a NP include a master’s degree in advanced nursing, a valid Registered Nurse license, and passing all the national certifications and/or state-issued exams. Many countries necessitate on-going educational classes or maintenance of a national certification to renew their license, and some countries even require nurse practitioners to get specialised licensing in order to prescribe medicine.

Before getting accepted to the program, nurses need to spend 1 to 2 years working as a registered nurse so as to get some experience and understanding on dealing with the anxiety which is associated with working in a medical profession. A NP should possess some similar characteristics and qualities of doctors. They should be kind-hearted, display compassion and have a sympathetic and caring personality. These qualities will help a NP to build a reputation and popularity with their patients and other hospital staff.

Career Opportunities

The Nursing sector occupies the largest number of functions in healthcare industry. According to the South African Nurses Association, it has been predicted that between 60-80 % of primary medical care are performed by a nurse practitioner. Because of the rapid growth of medical institutions, opportunities continue to flourish for nurse practitioners. NPs are active in community hospitals, surgeries, home healthcare practices, nursing homes, nurse practitioner offices, walk in clinics or hospice facilities.

Different types of Nurse Practitioners

Generally, nurse practitioners select a specialised field of medicine to work in before completing their degree. As a result, Nurse Practitioners are classified according to their area of specialisations, such as: Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Anaesthetist, Nurse Midwife, General Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Administrator, Nurse Educator, and Nurse Manager.

The following article was provided for health care facilities South Africa who specialises in healthcare safety.

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This article was provided by John Conrad.
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