A few questions about Nurse Practitioners

  1. Hey everyone

    I am enrolled in a nursing program and will be a Registered Nurse in 2007. I have just recently decided that I may want to eventually become a NP.

    The way that I understand it, Nurse practitioners are like a mini physician. please correct me if I'm wrong. They are basically RN's who are able to do histories, prescribe drugs, suggest treatments, along that line.

    Am I correct?

    The big question in the back of my mind, is what I will have to do to become a NP. I am aware that the best course is to become a RN, get a few years experience, and then enrole in NP schooling. How much will this cost? How smart do you have to be?

    I wanted to be a doctor, but the main reason I didn't was because of the cost. Mega bucks, bucks that I just don't have. Also, to be a doctor, you have got to be SMART. I am smart, but I'm not at the 99% average in Calculus smart. Is becoming a NP similiar to becoming a doctor?

    thanks to all that can help. I'm not too familiar with all the responsibilities that a NP has, nor do I know everything about the schooling in order to be one, so if you can help me in any way, little or big, I'd really appreciate it.

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    About DMR1

    Joined: Jun '03; Posts: 92; Likes: 3


  3. by   EmeraldNYL
    Most NP programs are 2 years in length (a master's degree), and you have to pick a speciality (like family NP, neonatal NP, acute care NP, etc). Tuition varies by school but you can get loans to cover the cost, and your employer where you work as an RN may also offer to pay some of the cost. You are correct that an NP can do history taking and physicals, diagnose and treat illnesses, etc. However, individual state regulations vary according to the level of supervision that an NP must have. In some areas, like rural areas, they are very autonomous and independent, and in other areas, they must get co-signatures for their orders. Yes you need to be smart but you don't have to be a genius. NP's work in all kinds of different settings with different responsibilities, so why don't you shadow some to get the best idea of what it is that they do?
  4. by   DMR1
    I am not a nurse yet, am I still able to shadow a NP? In fact I haven't started Nursing school yet. I didn't think you could just tag along if you weren't already employed by the hospital.
  5. by   EmeraldNYL
    Sure you can, I'd just call around places and see if anyone is willing to have you-- just explain that you are thinking of becoming an NP and want to shadow to see what it is all about.