What Is the Advantage of Becoming a Nurse Practitioner?

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Nurse practitioners are one step away from doctors.

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced training and a master's degree. The career is similar to a physician's assistant, but most nurse practitioners come up through the ranks of nursing. The advanced training and additional education required to achieve nurse practitioner positions comes with advantages.

  1. Salary

    • Nurse practitioners make a lot more money than a nurse. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the median income for a registered nurse is $62,450 a year as of May 2008. The top 10 percent made more than $92,000 a year, and as a nurse practitioner, you can expect to enter the top percentage in wages for this career. Along with the salary, a lot of health care organizations provide health care benefits that include dental and optical.

    Opportunity

    • The job opportunities available for nurse practitioners is expected to grow considerably over the next 10 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing jobs will grow approximately 22 percent over the next 10 years. The job outlook for nurse practitioners is expected to meet that same statistic or surpass those figures. The job growth will come from different parts of the health care industry, but most of the growth will come from physician's offices and the need for more home health care services.

    Self-Employment

    • One major advantage of becoming a nurse practitioner is the opportunity to open your own practice. Many states allow nurse practitioners to prescribe medications and operate without the supervision of a physician. According to RNDegrees.net, more doctors are concentrating on a specialized field and not becoming general practitioner physicians. This fact increases the need for more nurse practitioners to open their own clinics and practices.

    Professional Satisfaction

    • A higher salary and the ability to work independently and provide more long term care to patients make the nurse practitioner career more professionally satisfying. All the benefits that come with the hard work and training required to become a nurse practitioner is worth the effort when your job is more satisfying. A lot of nursing positions see a patient only for a short time, but nurse practitioners will be the primary care giver in most cases. The satisfaction that comes with the respect of the position is also another advantage.

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