A friend of mine has just become an NP in oncology - the demand and recognition are slowly growing. Certainly by the time you (Bethem) have enough eperience to take on the role, NPs should have at least a firm toehold in the Australian health care system.
How disappointing that some clinical nurses (like the one in ICU) still see intelligence, ambition and career planning as indicators for medicine rather than assets for nursing! I can (sort of) understand how laypeople conflate the to, but the roles and goals are so different that I don't understand nurses recommending a career switch based on these things.
That isn't to say that I don't understand, or approve, of nurses deciding to undertake medicine, but those I've known who've made the switch have done so because they want that wholly different scope of practice.
Off topic again! My point was supposed to be: if you're interested in a nurse practitioner role, I encourage you to go forth and pursue it! We need motivated, interested, enquiring minds in nursing