nurse practitioner or RN?

  1. I'm sure I could find this on google but I want some feedback, as I understand a nurse practitioner is a masters in nursing therefore "above" an RN.
    Is this the case? does being a NP open more doors?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Destinystar
    The nurse practitiner is an RN who has acquired additional preparation and skills in physical diagnosis, psycho-social assessment, & management of health-illness needs in an educational program conforming to Board standards, and is prepared to provide primary health care. Primary care is defined as that which occurs when a consumer makes contact with a provider who assumes responsibility & accountability for the continuity of health care regardless of the presence or absence of disese. This means that in some cases the nurse practitioner will be the only health professional to attend the pt. &, in the process, will employ a combinatin of nursing and standardiazed procedure functions.

    The function of a nurse practioner is more advanced than that of an RN. It is up to each individual health care agency to determine in the case of RN's what their job roles are and who is supervising who. I have worked in places where the DON is a diploma RN with no college degree who is legally, and per agency policy over an MSN who may be functioning as a staff developer or Charge nurse.
  4. by   Destinystar
    to get a more detailed and accurate answer to your question please refer to the nursing practice act and scope of practice for rn's in your state. my info pertains to california.[
    quote=destinystar]the nurse practitiner is an rn who has acquired additional preparation and skills in physical diagnosis, psycho-social assessment, & management of health-illness needs in an educational program conforming to board standards, and is prepared to provide primary health care. primary care is defined as that which occurs when a consumer makes contact with a provider who assumes responsibility & accountability for the continuity of health care regardless of the presence or absence of disese. this means that in some cases the nurse practitioner will be the only health professional to attend the pt. &, in the process, will employ a combinatin of nursing and standardiazed procedure functions.

    the function of a nurse practioner is more advanced than that of an rn. it is up to each individual health care agency to determine in the case of rn's what their job roles are and who is supervising who. i have worked in places where the don is a diploma rn with no college degree who is legally, and per agency policy over an msn who may be functioning as a staff developer or charge nurse. [/quote]
  5. by   koan
    in sacramento, i think this looks like a good career (i'm 42) for 2 reasons, i can make decent money and it offers me a chance to actually give back to life, as corny as that sounds it's become more important to me the older i get.

    Quote from destinystar
    quote=destinystar]the nurse practitiner is an rn who has acquired additional preparation and skills in physical diagnosis, psycho-social assessment, & management of health-illness needs in an educational program conforming to board standards, and is prepared to provide primary health care. primary care is defined as that which occurs when a consumer makes contact with a provider who assumes responsibility & accountability for the continuity of health care regardless of the presence or absence of disese. this means that in some cases the nurse practitioner will be the only health professional to attend the pt. &, in the process, will employ a combinatin of nursing and standardiazed procedure functions.

    the function of a nurse practioner is more advanced than that of an rn. it is up to each individual health care agency to determine in the case of rn's what their job roles are and who is supervising who. i have worked in places where the don is a diploma rn with no college degree who is legally, and per agency policy over an msn who may be functioning as a staff developer or charge nurse.
    [/quote]
  6. by   Agnus
    I learned recently that not all states require a masters for nurse practioner. I am sorry but I do not recall which state(s).

    As far as A NP being "above" an RN that is not necessairly so. This depends on the particular situation. Very often this is far from the case and then it depends on what you mean by "above".

    To answer your question it does open more door. As stated it is a nurse with advanced education.

    All NPs are RNs. Not all NPs have a Masters. Not all Master prepared nurses are NPs. :uhoh21:
  7. by   np2b
    ...and just because you have an advanced degree doesn't mean you make more money. My profs often point out to us (especially as we start our new RN jobs) that the more degrees you get, the less you get paid. But this varies on where you are in the country and what the demand for the job is.

    P.S. Last I checked, the Bay area (not sure about Sacramento, but it's proximity might affect it) was totally overrun with NPs...some found it hard to get jobs. Demand for RNs is, as you probably know, high everywhere!
  8. by   shel_wny
    Quote from np2b
    My profs often point out to us (especially as we start our new RN jobs) that the more degrees you get, the less you get paid.
    Ehm...I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
    Seems like if I go to school for my masters (another degree) I would get paid more. Am I missing something? :stone

    Shel
  9. by   Nurse GOODNIGHT
    I'm curious about this too as I want to go on immediately after this. Now I'm cautious as this will be my umpteenth degree. I know my nursing degree will pay more than what I had already. Won't a "higher" nursing degree pay even more?
  10. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from shel_wny
    Ehm...I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
    Seems like if I go to school for my masters (another degree) I would get paid more. Am I missing something? :stone

    Shel
    You could be. More money for the MSN is absolutely not guaranteed. Especially not if you go into education (teaching in, say, a BSN program), but applies to NPs as well. Depending on the local market, it is quite possible, and not uncommon, for staff nurses to outearn NPs. In fact, some nurse practitioners (yes, with masters degrees) work as staff nurses because they make more money doing that than they would as NPs, although not more money than they would make without the extra education (staff nurse = staff nurse). This, unfortunately, is mainly due to supply and demand - BIG demand for staff nurses with a shortage out there vs. more NPs than the market can support in some areas. Result - increased RN wages, decreased NP wages.
  11. by   koan
    I know that you can have a PHD and still be flipping burgers and some guy that can barely speak can get to the top (look at Bush) but I always remind myself in this life of increasing competition of a little saying I heard from a Klingon "the higher the fewer"...
    So the more education in a field in demand means you have less competition.


    Hmm when I ran spell checker on "Klingon" it gave me Clinton...


    Quote from RN4NICU
    You could be. More money for the MSN is absolutely not guaranteed. Especially not if you go into education (teaching in, say, a BSN program), but applies to NPs as well. Depending on the local market, it is quite possible, and not uncommon, for staff nurses to outearn NPs. In fact, some nurse practitioners (yes, with masters degrees) work as staff nurses because they make more money doing that than they would as NPs, although not more money than they would make without the extra education (staff nurse = staff nurse). This, unfortunately, is mainly due to supply and demand - BIG demand for staff nurses with a shortage out there vs. more NPs than the market can support in some areas. Result - increased RN wages, decreased NP wages.
  12. by   elkpark
    I am a child psych CS (MSN from a prestigious university and national certification), and the nursing faculty position I have held and my current job as a mental health consultant for the state both pay quite a bit less than I could make working as a staff nurse in a hospital. However, there are other advantages to the jobs that balance that out and make them worthwhile to me. At the highest paying jobs I have held as a CS, I'm sure there were staff nurses (with lots of seniority and high-demand specialization) at the same hospital that were making significantly more money than me.

    It's not as simple as "more education = more money." It's about supply and demand; demand for staff nurses in hospitals is so high that hospitals have to pay more to fill those positions.

    Nursing education is notoriously "underpaid." Every faculty member in every nursing program is making less money than s/he could make working in a clinical position. You do it because you want to teach.

    I would not recommend that anyone go to grad school just because s/he wants to make more money. There are much quicker and easier ways to boost your earning power in nursing! Go to grad school because it's something that's personally important to you, and because you want to pursue the additional professional opportunities and flexibility that come with an advanced degree. I believe that the most important factor, though, is that you enjoy what you're doing all day everyday -- work is too a big piece of our lives to hate your job!

    I learned recently that not all states require a masters for nurse practioner. I am sorry but I do not recall which state(s).
    There was a recent thread about this that you could look up. If I recall correctly, it said that CA still has at least one (maybe more) certificate program which prepares you to be an NP in CA, but you would not be eligible for national certification as an NP, and probably would not be employable as an NP outside CA (there may well be facilities within CA that wouldn't hire you -- the national standard is an MSN degree).
  13. by   shel_wny
    Quote from RN4NICU
    You could be. More money for the MSN is absolutely not guaranteed. Especially not if you go into education (teaching in, say, a BSN program), but applies to NPs as well.
    Ah, thanks for the insight! As odd as it might seem I've never thought about it that way. Makes much more sense now.

    Shel
  14. by   tiredfeetED
    Quote from elkpark
    I am a child psych CS (MSN from a prestigious university and national certification), and the nursing faculty position I have held and my current job as a mental health consultant for the state both pay quite a bit less than I could make working as a staff nurse in a hospital. However, there are other advantages to the jobs that balance that out and make them worthwhile to me. At the highest paying jobs I have held as a CS, I'm sure there were staff nurses (with lots of seniority and high-demand specialization) at the same hospital that were making significantly more money than me.

    It's not as simple as "more education = more money." It's about supply and demand; demand for staff nurses in hospitals is so high that hospitals have to pay more to fill those positions.

    Nursing education is notoriously "underpaid." Every faculty member in every nursing program is making less money than s/he could make working in a clinical position. You do it because you want to teach.

    I would not recommend that anyone go to grad school just because s/he wants to make more money. There are much quicker and easier ways to boost your earning power in nursing! Go to grad school because it's something that's personally important to you, and because you want to pursue the additional professional opportunities and flexibility that come with an advanced degree. I believe that the most important factor, though, is that you enjoy what you're doing all day everyday -- work is too a big piece of our lives to hate your job!


    There was a recent thread about this that you could look up. If I recall correctly, it said that CA still has at least one (maybe more) certificate program which prepares you to be an NP in CA, but you would not be eligible for national certification as an NP, and probably would not be employable as an NP outside CA (there may well be facilities within CA that wouldn't hire you -- the national standard is an MSN degree).

    Yes CA has Stanford Primary Care program and Davis Primary care programs that are PA/NP progams...There is a Track for BSN students that wish to aquire there MSN while obtaining there NP. These programs are 18months to two years of intense training of assessments and diagnosis. The requirements for these guys and gals to be licensed is pretty tough, MSN or NOT. Majority of these RN's have around 10 yrs exp. The pay varies from pracitce. 50k for those who work in clinics to specialties (surgery) 150k. There is no place that would not hire a FNP/BSN. Again some FNP's function as a RN because of the high demand in California. It took 1 yr to find a PA/FNP who specialty was Emergency medicine( he makes darn good money 100+)

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