Become a Nurse Practitioner with an Online Degree

Although most Nurse Practitioners (NP) are under the supervision of physicians, they essentially provide the same care. In order to become a Nurse Practitioner, an RN (registered nurse) has to have completed a minimum of an online master's degree in nursing. Nurse Practitioners can make diagnoses such as chronic illnesses and can manage common medical concerns so that an NP can serve as a patient's main health care provider.

Often times since NP's advise to the patient can result in fewer prescriptions and lower costs, the NP can focus on the patient's well being and how the illness has affected their families. The NP advocates healthy living activities for the patient and some current fields of study are women's issues and midwifery in understaffed and underserved areas.

Acquiring an online master's degree for a Nurse Practitioner has many advantages. Because getting an online master's degree allows you to study on your own time, you can balance your work and home life to fit your schedule. This can be very cost beneficial to the NP student since they can keep their current position.

In order to become a NP is all its varieties; you must earn at least an online master's degree. Nurses need to have a bachelor's in nursing or in another field in order to apply to an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. In general, it's usually recommended that the person has a bachelor of nursing (BSN) when they apply to the online Master's in NP.

Furthermore, it is usually recommended that the nurse work for at least one year before applying to online MSN programs. Some states even require a nurse to certify in an area of specialization after graduating from an online master's program in NP. Online master's programs have coursework combined with hands-on clinical with lectures and seminars that take about two years.

When an online nursing master's student finishes their education and training they must register to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The online nursing master's student applies for the NP license with the state board and submits their academic transcripts. After the student passes their exam, they will receive their license.

The National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NXLEX-PN) highlights four main areas of nursing: safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. The test is mostly in multiple choice formats with some broader questions pertaining to body parts. These broader questions usually pertain to asking about the multiple choice answers and are being called, "New Format Questions".

The salary ranges for a NP vary according to the area you specialize in. For example, a NP for Specialty Care is $76,495-$94,834. An (ER) Emergency Room PN has a salary range of $77,495-$94,834. A nurse practitioner that works in a nursing home commands a salary of $65,885-$73,216.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the occupational outlook will be for nurse practitioners to be in high demand, in the coming years. Getting an online degree in a NP program will demonstrate effective integration theory, practice and experience which will be needed in the inner cities to the rural areas. The master's NP will be taught to make effective decisions, as well as working through collaborative practices in order to get the most positive outcome.

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