Although it’s true that there is a nursing shortage in the US, it’s also true that there are over 200,000 nurse practitioners working in a variety of different medical facilities. This is a good sign; the numbers are high, and that’s encouraging because it shows that there must be a reason, or perhaps many reasons, why people are choosing this particular career path, especially when there are so many other options for those interested in healthcare and patient care.
From the outside, the job of a nurse practitioner looks to be a challenging one, and that could be off-putting for some people. However, it’s worth investigating and determining why becoming a nurse practitioner could suit you. It might be that once you uncover more about the role, you realize it’s exactly what you want. Read on to discover why so many people are becoming nurse practitioners and why it’s a worthwhile pursuit.
For some, the idea of autonomy at work is a terrifying prospect. They like to be told what to do and how to do it – and that’s fine. We’re all different, and if this is the best way to work for you, that’s the kind of job you’ll thrive in. However, being a nurse practitioner allows for a lot of autonomy, so if you like being given every instruction, this might not be the role for you.
However, if you are tired of having to follow strict instructions and know you can put your knowledge and talents to good use elsewhere, you will certainly find it worthwhile to become a nurse practitioner. In many cases, this is the main reason why someone would choose to take this step in their nursing career; they love the idea of being able to work autonomously yet still be part of a tight-knit team when it is required.
When it comes to pay as a nurse practitioner, your salary will be a good one. Not only that, but you’ll get a generous retirement package, and there is the health insurance as a benefit too.
The reason that nurse practitioners are compensated so well is that they are highly sought after. Therefore, healthcare managers will offer a lot to get the right candidate for the role. The better the package for the nurse practitioner, the more likely they will apply for the job in the first place and the more likely they will stay in the position for a long time. This is great for all involved, and the healthcare facility can certainly benefit from having knowledgeable, loyal nurse practitioners in place.
Many Jobs To Choose From
Unless you are completely set on where you want to work, or you live in a very rural area, there will be a large number of nurse practitioner jobs to choose from. This is because there are more patients than ever before – the population is growing quickly, and we are living longer, meaning that healthcare is something that is required more and more.
Therefore, if you gain your nurse practitioner qualifications and have experience, you can essentially take your pick of where you want to work. Of course, there will be competition for roles, so you might not be guaranteed the job you apply for, but there will be a lot of choice. This means you can have your say on where you work, and as a candidate rather than an employer, you hold many more cards when you are a qualified nurse practitioner.
Options For Study
You need to work towards a nurse practitioner degree to be a nurse practitioner. In the past, this would have meant taking time out of work to gain your qualifications. This might have been something of a gamble because while you are away from the healthcare facility, new ideas and processes might come in, leaving you behind in terms of your career just as you are attempting to advance it.
Today, however, things are different. There are many different options for studying for your NP degree, including the traditional route mentioned above, part-time studying, and remote studying, which can easily be fitted in with your working pattern, whatever it might be. As long as you know what to expect during your nursing clinicals, you can study and work at the same time and gain the best of both worlds.
Following on from the above point, another reason why people are so interested in becoming nurse practitioners and why it is worth doing is that there is a lot of career progression possible. You will need to study for whatever qualification is necessary, of course, and you will need the relevant experience. Still, the fact is that being a nurse practitioner opens up a lot of doors to other things, and therefore it is certainly a worthwhile consideration.
Some examples of what a nurse practitioner can do in the future if they want to advance their career include:
- Healthcare management
- Nursing leadership roles
- Medical writer
- Pharmaceutical sales
You Will Make A Difference
If you choose to become a nurse, you’ll likely want to make a difference not just in general terms but also to your individual patients and their families. The higher in your nursing career you progress, the more this is possible – as a nurse practitioner, you’ll make a huge difference to many people.
When you are a nurse practitioner, you’ll be able to enjoy extremely satisfying work, and that’s because you can help other people as much as possible. Your role will be varied, so you might assist young children who have to have surgery, or an older person coming to the end of their life, and anyone in between. There is a vast array of people you can help, and when you go home at the end of your shift, you should be proud that you truly made a difference in at least one – and probably more – person’s life.
This leads to a high level of job satisfaction, which is hugely important. Not every job has this within it, and there are some jobs where you might do what you’re told and know that it’s not really all that important. You won’t feel satisfied by what you do. The problem is that this can lead to stress and depression, and many other problems. When you have a job with high satisfaction levels, like being a nurse practitioner, this won’t be the case. You’ll know that everything you do is important, and although you’ll still need to take care of your mental health, you’ll feel much happier in your day-to-day life.
Although not everyone is looking for a long-term career, others want to stick with a career for life, using their experience and knowledge to become better and better all the time.
When you are a nurse practitioner, you certainly have this option. We have mentioned above how being a nursing practitioner can open doors to other career paths, but you don’t have to take these paths or go through these doors. If you prefer, you can stay as a nurse practitioner until you choose to retire. This means you have complete job security – you’ll always have a job to go to, and you’ll have all the choice you could need.
It's A Challenge
No one wants to be bored. Life is far too short to spend too much of it not using your brain and talents in the right way. It’s great if you can find a career that challenges you and that makes you think – this will keep you interested and alert and may even help to stave off cognitive decline as you get older.
Being a nurse practitioner is a challenge. Not only is it hard work to gain the experience and qualifications needed, but the day to day tasks you’ll need to perform are challenging too. You’ll need to think on your feet a lot of the time, and although your experience will certainly help you, you may well find yourself in circumstances and problems that you don’t have an answer to. You’ll need to overcome these problems as quickly as possible to ensure your patients get the very best care and your colleagues get the help they might want.
The interesting thing about being a nurse practitioner is that the job is only ever going to be what you want it to be – it will be what you make it. So you can always be on the lookout for opportunities and challenges that will help you make it what you need it to be to reap the most rewards.
Being a nurse practitioner isn’t easy; there are obstacles to get past and challenges to deal with every day. However, there are so many positive points (only a few of which we have mentioned in this article) that the hard days are more than made up for by the good ones and the benefits that come with being a nurse practitioner.