Any profession that focuses on taking care of the needs of the people is a noble one. Social work is one such career path where they alleviate the adverse conditions of society’s neglected class. On the contrary, we see that the healthcare profession serves a somewhat similar purpose. The patient who usually needs attention is in an emotionally and physically fragile state, and any caring hand can soothe the nerves. When we imagine healthcare, our minds typically focus on the doctors who are the providers of such a facility. That is true, but we almost ignore the rest of the healthcare professionals without whom the provision of these services would not be possible. One such occupation is that of the nurses, who are always present for the patients catering to their needs.
Even in nursing, we fail to recognize that there are many career paths and specializations. Qualifying to be a nurse requires going through dedicated educational degrees as dealing with patients requires knowledge about it. Those familiar with the field might ask the question about the difference between various degrees in nursing or are a nursing practitioner and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) the same thing? Not all those who study nursing have the same jobs, and their vocations usually differ depending upon what they considered. Some focus more on the practicing side of nursing. In contrast, others acquire qualifications to join the administration or the teaching side. All of them are equally important, but for the scope of this article, we will discuss nursing practitioners and MSN specialties, so keep reading.
Nursing practitioner career path
On the more practical side, the nurse who caters to the patients is a nursing practitioner and has many responsibilities. However, we should first discuss how to become one. The nursing practice is an excellent career path, and they earn a median income of over $100,000, according to 2018 data. The first step towards a nursing practitioner career starts with a bachelor’s degree, also known as Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). It is a four-year program and usually includes many practical and internship knowledge as degree requirements. After acquiring the degree, they can apply to become registered nurses by clearing a licensing exam. Licensing exams are necessary because hospitals want the nurses to have knowledge and experience before they get anywhere near a patient. Practitioner nurses can further specialize in any of the medical fields like pediatrics, neonatal emergency, and several others. Each specialization focuses on skill and knowledge.
Nursing practitioner responsibilities
Nursing practitioners can conduct check-ups and monitor the patient’s health periodically. They also refill the prescriptions and ensure that the patients do not skip their medicines. Nursing practitioners have the responsibility of ensuring that the patients do not feel any discomfort during their stay at the hospital. They are the first responders to any patient emergency and act as a conduit between patients and doctors. They take the patient’s history to ensure that the doctors have prior data before making any diagnosis. Specialized nursing practitioners also cater for patient-specific needs that are quite different from the patients of any other category of illness. They either work at the hospitals or clinics, depending upon their job requirements.
Advanced Nursing practitioner
Anyone with a primary nursing degree can opt for MSN and enhance their knowledge base. It helps the nurses advance their careers and improve their earning potential a great deal. The MSN degree span can be 12 months to 2 years, enabling them to take better roles in the future. The degree revolves around the acquisition of necessary clinical skills and then helps them specialize. The advanced classes of MSN include subjects such as advanced pharmacology, health assessment, and research. MSN degree leads one to the advanced nursing practitioner jobs, which are not possible with the baseline degrees.
Advanced Nursing practitioner responsibilities
The MSN degree provides the specialization foundation to many pathways in the nursing practitioner career. In the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialization, students focus on learning how to deal with people of all age groups belonging to a family. FNP allows the nurses to cultivate a relationship of trust with their patient so that they can cater to them for the whole lifetime. Nurses with FNP can then opt for a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) degree to widen their horizon of knowledge.
Apart from this, there is the pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) that focuses on the care of children and then wellbeing. Excellent care at the start of their lives allows them to nourish between, which helps them in later life. Nursing practitioners focusing on the mental health of patients opt for psychiatric nursing practitioner specialization. Then there is the Adult-Gerontology nursing practitioner who must deal with the adult patients whose needs are different from those of other ages.
The healthcare system cannot operate without all the organs and principal occupations associated with it. The nurses play a crucial role in the care of patients and manage the overall operation of the hospitals. Nurses acquire essential degrees and then specialization on top of that with the help of higher degrees such as MSN. Even in the MSN, various specialties allow them to become experts in dealing with different kinds of patients. These specialist nurses are very crucial as they understand the unique requirements of the various types of patients.