The path towards achieving the Nurse Practitioner’s designation includes a specific academic path and professional certifications. The designation basically allows them to enter into an advanced practice of nursing, which allows them to perform examinations, make diagnosis of a patients symptoms, do minor surgical procedures, do diagnostic tests and prescribe medications under the administration of a licensed physician.
There are several specific requirements, which must be completed in order to become an LNP. This includes:
· Obtaining a bachelors degree in nursing from an accredited institution (BSN)
· Passing the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and satisfying your state certifications requirements and becoming an RN.
· Obtaining 1 to 2 years of experience as an RN in a hospital or clinical setting.
· Choosing a specialty within your nursing profession (like pediatrics, women's health, gerontology etc…) and working for 1-2 years within that specialty.
· Completing a masters program in Nursing. This normally can take one to three years. But there are also BSN to Masters programs for individuals who have a bachelors, but have not majored in nursing, which could be a faster track.
· Complete the nursing practitioners certification exam.
· Complete the required number of certification work hour requirements within your specialty, which can take 750 to 1400 hours
Each specialty and program can vary, but all together in can add up with all the education and work experience requirements, around 6 to 8 years to become a licensed and certified Nurse Practitioner.
Paul recommends the following next steps:
4 years for your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Either Degree you will have to take the NCLEX-RN exam (you take this exam after you graduate)
After becoming an RN, you needs 2 more years education and clinical training to become a nurse practitioner.