I have been a NP for 15 years. When I started out as a new NP, nurses salaries were more than what I was getting paid. However, I held more responsibility, longer hours and ugh. The question will your salary increase by a higher education, responsibility etc by working as a NP? No. I can make more as a staff nurse.
NP's have prescriptive authority. It is different from state to state. Collaborative work means that you work along side a supervising doctor and agree to assess, dx and tx a patient based on your agreement with the doctor. IT is with the understanding you will seek assistance if you have questions or don't have a clue what you are doing to prevent harming a patient. I went to my doc's sometimes to verify what I was going to order was appropriate. If they disagreed, I deferred to their judgement. My doctors let me do everything except surgical procedures that were out of my realm of education and training. Not working in oncology, I agreed to not order oncology treatments other than what I was trained. I did not want the responsibility anyway. Try to write protocols that are open ended, " will be able to order the following drugs….., but not limited to the above" etc.
I sometimes wonder if I should have applied to medical school. I sometimes wonder not becoming a NP would have been better. Work is by shifts and hourly. Pay is many times better. Nurses are being hired as more nurses decide to stay home with children, find work labor intensive, deviate from bedside care to administrative, retire, and mostly because nurses who do graduate don't like nursing and go onto a different career altogether.