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how to become a nurse practitioner if you already have a bachelor degree - Postgraduates - Nurses Arena Forum

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how to become a nurse practitioner if you already have a bachelor degree by katty : February 06, 2016, 12:17:43 AM
Registered nurses with a bachelor's degree who are interested in becoming nurse practitioners can qualify for the position by earning a master's or doctoral degree in nursing. Many nurse practitioners specialize in a specific area of medicine, such as pediatrics or family medicine during their graduate study. These programs typically take 2 to 3 years to complete and require students to take courses, seminars and lectures in addition to completing a clinical residency. Common courses may include healthcare management, pathophysiology and advanced pharmacology.

Most states require additional licensure to work as an advanced practice nurse. Advanced practice nurses operate in one of four roles: nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife or clinical nurse specialist. Licensing is regulated by individual states, and requirements vary. However, all NPs must first be licensed RNs with a master's degree in one of the four advanced practice specialties. Some states mandate extra exams and professional experience. Many states require continuing education classes or maintenance of a national certification to renew a license.

The successful completion of a graduate degree program and licensure requirements prepares graduates to sit for certification examinations specific to their careers. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) are two organizations that offer national certification commonly recognized by state nursing boards. Certification usually requires passing an examination, and most organizations mandate continuing education to maintain the credentials. Available specialty examinations nurse practitioners may choose from include acute care, diabetes management, family care, school nursing, mental health, gerontology and pediatrics.

Success Tip:

Prepare for the exam. Nurses wishing to specialize in a specific area of practice should obtain the proper materials needed to study for the exam. Individuals are strongly encouraged to take any practice tests available.

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