What do I need to do to become a Nurse Practitioner?
I’m in high school right now and I want to be a Nurse Practitioner. But I don’t know what steps I have to take to become one. Like do I go to college then nursing school? and How long does it take to be a Nurse Practitioner? someone please help and explain.😔 #nurse-practitioner #nurse #nursing
I'm so excited you know your career path! You can start working towards your goal while in highschool. Make sure you complete all your college prerequisite classes including foreign language (Spanish always good). Start by looking now at what classes and GPA requirements will be needed to apply to the RN program of your dreams.
Find local volunteer opportunities with local hospitals or Red Cross in order to become comfortable with the healthcare culture.
Next, work with your school counselor to identify RN programs that suit your needs. Apply to several programs making sure they offer a high state board pass rate and financial aid.
You will need to apply good study skills once in college. Make sure you take a state board test prep class.
Once you have earned your RN you can start working (I recommend working at least one year in an acute care hospital) while applying for your NP program. Keep on mind you will be working towards a master's degree. You most likely will to be able to work only part time during the NP program. Some people do work full time though!
You will need to decide a specialty path for your NP, but can determine this at a future date. No rush on this decision.
I've included informational links below:
I hope this helps Stay the course. We need you.
Suzanne recommends the following next steps:
1. Become a Registered Nurse. The first step to a career as a nurse practitioner is earning your credentials as a registered nurse (RN).
2. Earn a Bachelor's Degree.
3. Gain Experience.
4. Earn a Graduate Degree.
5. Obtain State License and Certification.
6. Pursue Further Specialization
Now I am going to give the following recommendation. If your parents are unable to pay for the majority of your education or you will need full loans for your education, I recommend pursuing an associate degree RN program first. The difference between your pay as a BSN vs. AD RN is negligible. You can usually work while you later go back to get the rest of the BSN part of your education and there are many online programs. Your hospital will usually help you with tuition. Meanwhile you can be making $60,000 a year and pay for that stage of your education. At this point you may have a good idea of what you would like to specialize in or if you prefer to pursue a Primary Care or Family NP program. Keep in mind, your graduate degree makes you eligible to take the national certification test which then makes you NP or other advanced practice nurse-there are a plethora of options depending on what you want to do. This way you can finish graduate school without having thousands of dollars worth of loans.
I would like to caution you that many of my NP friends have been worked hard with the number of patients they are expected to see and responsibilities with unfair monetary and other compensations. I loved my cancer patients and put up with some negative issues that did gradually get worse. I was seeing 85-100 cancer patients a week and would go 3 yrs without a raise a few times. When the hospital bought the practice, I went from several thousand dollars for a Christmas bonus to a $100 gift card. I think I brought in about $500,000 a year to the practice but none of that was ever shared with me. When I was starting to get burned out, I got the opportunity to become an NP educator with a big biotech company and my life became easier with greater compensation. That is where I am now at the age of 67. My mom (also an RN-94 rs old- as is my daughter and son) worked until she was 74 and I would like to work at least 3 more years at a position that has a good work/life balance. I would also like you to realize that you may prefer medical school or to at least look at the differences between a PA vs. NP. I am prejudiced toward becoming an NP but I think you should be aware of the differences.
Good luck and feel free to reach out to me for any additional questions. Judy Owens, ACNP, AOCNP
I hope this is helpful. Good luck