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nurse practitioner

I'm wondering if anyone is a nurse practitioner, and how exactly the job varies from regular nursing? There's a program at my univ. where you can do your masters and nurse practitioner concurrently in one year. I know that practitioners can prescribe some meds, and have a bit more...authority? Responsibility? The academic counsellors have been pretty useless to me in explaining this. I haven't even begun nursing yet but I'm trying to decide between nursing (I've already been accepted) and dietician. I already have a bad back from a fall 2 yrs ago and it worries me, having to lift patients and other heavy things, and being on my feet all day. Arrrrrgh I wish I just knew what career to choose! :uhoh3:

Hi. I'm not an NP(or an RN either), but I was wondering what you meant about "regular nursing". Do you mean BSN vs. MSN? I see that you're from Canada. What are the credentials they have for nurses in Canada? Are they the same as for U.S. nurses as well(i.e. BSN, MSN, etc.)? I live in NC, in case you're wondering. Take care and good luck with whatever career you decide!

Erin

I want to know too. How does being a NP differ from being an RN. If you are a FNP what all avenues can you take?

TMPaul

Has 24 years experience.

I'm wondering if anyone is a nurse practitioner, and how exactly the job varies from regular nursing? There's a program at my univ. where you can do your masters and nurse practitioner concurrently in one year. I know that practitioners can prescribe some meds, and have a bit more...authority? Responsibility? The academic counsellors have been pretty useless to me in explaining this. I haven't even begun nursing yet but I'm trying to decide between nursing (I've already been accepted) and dietician. I already have a bad back from a fall 2 yrs ago and it worries me, having to lift patients and other heavy things, and being on my feet all day. Arrrrrgh I wish I just knew what career to choose! :uhoh3:

I am a Nurse Practitioner (for 12 years now :) )and would be glad to answer your questions. You can PM me if you want. I have a Masters in Community Health Nursing- Clinical Specialist and a post masters NP certificate as an Adult NP. Specialities vary from adult, pediatric, OB/Gyn, psyche/mental health and then there are even more subspecialities within (Critical Care, Neuro, etc.). The prescription rights of the NP depend upon the laws of the state in which you practice (I hold licenses in both NY & TN and have prescriptive priviledges (including DEA) in both states) as does the narrow or broad scope of practice. I work off site from my collaborating physician (he is available via phone if needed) and I do just about everything his office does- physical exams, diagnose, treat, and prescribe for a variety of ailments, simple casting, suturing, skin biopsies, foreign body removal, nail removal, etc. Order and interpret x-rays, EKG's, lab tests, etc.

Please remember that I am still a nurse - I just practice in an advanced practice role. :)

There are lots of types of nursing that don't require lifting--public health nursing, psychiatric nursing, working in a doctor's office, research, informatics. NPs have quite a bit more responsibility, although nurses also have a lot of responsibility.

As far as whether to do that or dietician, it depends on what you're more interested in. Have you shadowed some people?

I will be going on to earn my master's (FNP program), but only after a few years of practicing as a nurse. It's not required at all schools, but the general consensus seems to be that a few years of RN experience is invaluable prior to practicing as an NP. I guess it depends on your comfort level...

Good luck

Oops, by "regular nursing" I meant an RN. Here in Canada, up until a few yrs ago you could become an RN with 2 yrs of college. Now you need a BScN (4-yr degree), and the people who have the 2-yr diploma can't really find a job unless they upgrade...most hospitals, etc. want the BScN. At my univ, you have to work full-time for 2 yrs after getting your BScN, then you can do the practitioner program/Masters concurrently in 1-2 yrs. Seems like a long road ahead since I've already done a 4-yr degree in sociology (obviously a waste of money)...when am I gonna have time to have kids? lol Not to mention my student loan debt, eeeeek!

Do nurse practitioners usually work more regular hours than RNs? I guess if you're in a clinic you wouldn't be as likely to work weekends/holidays. But, they are building a new hospital in my city which will mean lots of job openings there.

I am a PHN currently and a supervisor of our home care area. I am thinking of a change because they only way to move "up" is administratively and I am not that interested in that end of things.

I am seriously considering the NP route, but am concerned about going through school (the cost and loss of income if I go FT) and then not getting a job as an NP. What are the prospects like?

Sorry to jump on this thread, but i thought it was a fitting question here! Thanks!

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