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1) How do you remember so many different types of medicines and diseases as a Nurse Practitioner?

I am currently working on a CTE project for my Foundations in Health Science class in high school about careers. I have 13 questions, including the one above and would like responses from any Nurse Practitioner professional to help with this project.

2) Why did you choose this profession?
3) How many years of college did you need to go through? What courses did you need to take?
4) What jobs did you work before you landed your present professional job?
5) How can I decide if I should earn a Ph.D. in this field?
6) What benefits are there that come with becoming an NP?
7) Did you have to pivot and go back to school at a later date?
8) Did you shadow another professional in the field?
9) Did you join any school clubs related to your current profession? Were you in a college program?
10) Was there a particular subject you struggled with during your school years?
11) What skill sets did you learn or gain while pursuing your career?
12) Is it easy for you to balance your work life and your social life?
13) Would you recommend going through any experiences prior to becoming an NP to make the job easier?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Rachel’s Answer

1) How do you remember so many different types of medicines and diseases as a Nurse Practitioner?
Before I became an NP, I worked as an RN for 7 years. I used this as my foundation going in to NP school and preparing myself for the boards and for my job. There are multiple credible online resources and phone apps that I can reference if needed.

2) Why did you choose this profession?
I had 2 family members who were sick with neurological conditions when I was growing up. I found it fascinating and wanted to learn more. I ended up in the neuroscience specialty after nursing school.

3) How many years of college did you need to go through? What courses did you need to take?
I went straight into a BSN program after I graduated high school. I graduated in 4 years and then started my first nursing job 1 year after graduation (since it was a time of the recession and there were hiring freezes nationwide). My NP program was only 2 years long and I completed it online so I was able to accommodate my work schedule.

4) What jobs did you work before you landed your present professional job?
I worked as an RN at large academic medical centers, i.e. UC Davis, UCSF, NYU. I immediately began looking for NP positions that were in the neuroscience specialty. After I passed my board certification exam, I accepted the position at my current job in neurosurgery.

5) How can I decide if I should earn a Ph.D. in this field?
There is an option to earn a DNP (Doctorate of Nursing Practice) after an MSN/NP program, but I believe there are programs now where you can earn both your DNP and NP at the same time. If you’d like to enter the research field, that is where a PhD would be more suitable. Education is also another area where DNPs often work.

6) What benefits are there that come with becoming an NP?
I see being an NP as almost a doctor with the compassion of a nurse. There are different rules and regulations in practice capacity for NPs that vary state by state. Where I work, I have a lot of autonomy and see a lot of my own patients. NPs are utilized in various health care settings, making health care more accessible to patients.

7) Did you have to pivot and go back to school at a later date?
I thought about becoming an NP for a few years before pulling the trigger in applying. I was happy working as a hospital nurse, but wanted to pursue higher education before settling down with a family. I actually prefer working as a nurse for at least a couple of years before returning to school to become an NP so that clinical concepts make more sense.

8) Did you shadow another professional in the field?
I shadowed a Pediatric NP when I was in the middle of my BSN program. It was very different from what I was learning in school so I wished I had waited in doing that.

9) Did you join any school clubs related to your current profession? Were you in a college program?
I did not join any school clubs as I was too busy keeping up with the nursing program as it is.

10) Was there a particular subject you struggled with during your school years?
Balancing clinical hours with work schedules was the most challenging. I was able to do it with a lot of support from family and friends.

11) What skill sets did you learn or gain while pursuing your career?
Time management, prioritization, therapeutic communications, and collaboration.

12) Is it easy for you to balance your work life and your social life?
I’d say yes to some degree. It’s definitely doable.

13) Would you recommend going through any experiences prior to becoming an NP to make the job easier?
Just working as an RN first before entering an NP program is the most beneficial.
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Gloria’s Answer

1) When learning about medications, you will notice the last few letters in the name of the medication, for ex, medications that end in lol they are beta blockers, so you can lump all the these medications into one category, medications that end in pril are considered ace inhibitors, and the list goes on, but of course there are always some that don't fit into the box.

2)Nursing is a career that allows you to work in so many different types of areas, for example; multiple specialty areas in the hospital, supervisor, manager, professor, research, case management, utilization management, hospice, the list goes on.

3)I went to school over a period of time for about 7 years

4)I work for a major insurance company for about 12 years, holding different positions, case management, disease management, nurse line, and utilization management

5)PhD if you want to go into research

6)Having the ability to truly to make a difference to patients that may not have access to health care.

7)I went back to school a few times, stayed in nursing, but wanted to have a broader career path.

8)I shadowed PAs, MDs, and different types of NPs

9)I did not join any clubs

10)Math

11) Collaboration

12) Very easy for me

13) Work as a RN for a few years prior to going to school to become a NP. You have to be a RN prior to applying for NP school. You career as a RN will help you decided what type of speciality NP you would like to become. I also think working as a RN helps with your foundation, but its not required.
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