Hello all. I am currently considering going into nursing with the goal of becoming an NP. The more I research and hear stories from nurses, I find I am oscillating between excitement and grand vision and fear and preemptive defeat. My ultimate goal as a Nurse Practitioner is not only to provide quality healthcare to my community one on one but also to be a part of changing the healthcare system as a whole. Reading about the conditions RNs work under in hospitals is sad; the patient load, lack of respect, "red tape" keeping everyone from being able to really provide the best care for their patients....I hear/read the stories and feel very warranted in my desires to be a part of changing healthcare policy/procedure etc. But then, at the same time everyone feels so powerless, which makes me wonder if I am delusional in thinking I could make a difference. It seems to be a common attitude that this is just what it is, and there is nothing to be done besides sucking it up or getting out. The stories of NPs are much different, which is enlightening since I know I don't want to work long term as an RN but rather as an NP. And I see how NPs taking on primary care can have a huge effect on keeping more people healthy, satisfied and out of the hospital. My question is, how much are Nps actually involved in the bigger picture of healthcare reform? I know that one local university offers an NP Leadership program which sounds like it might be what I want. Or is this another career altogether? I looked into healthcare analysis today and thought that would be more fitting..except that it removes all of the education and experience regarding actually caring for people that I am so hungry for. I am really very new to all of this, so am just trying to figure out the best path to make my life/career goals happen. I am an herbalist, massage therapist and doula who has gotten very frustrated with the major divide between alternative healthcare and conventional. I want to make my skills more accessible to the public, as well as gain more knowledge and skill to offer. But I also want to see changes in the bigger picture. Am I barking up the right tree?