A nurse practitioner is an essential member of a doctor’s team or hospital staff. A nurse practitioner has the required medical knowledge and training to diagnose and treat various medical conditions. They are fully capable of handling all matters related to patient care.

A nurse practitioner is more than a regular nurse. Nurse practitioners are found to play a more active role in OB/GYN clinics where they perform the initial physical exams and conduct the required tests and diagnose conditions. They also carry out well baby checkups and handle prenatal care for women. Nurse practitioners may work independently or at a doctor’s office, acting as the first point of contact for all incoming patients. They may work in tandem with the physician to understand individual needs of patients. They collect family history to get an understanding of the patient and diagnose all sorts of illnesses, whether acute or chronic.

Education and Training

If you are looking forward to becoming a nurse practitioner, you will require at least a bachelor’s degree and a license to practice in your state. Further, having a master’s degree and additional training can be of more help. You will need a separate license to work as a nurse practitioner. Though you do not need to attend a proper medical school to be a nurse practitioner, you still need some advanced training and medical knowledge. An online university degree search can help you find the right training institute.

Getting the Job

You can first try gaining some experience at a hospital or doctor’s clinic as a registered nurse before you think of getting hired as a nurse practitioner. It will add to your knowledge and you may also be able to gain a higher level of knowledge to acquire the requisite license. Once you have the license, you may apply for the post of a nurse practitioner at the hospital where you are working or with a physician, citing your knowledge and experience.

Healthcare is one sector which continues to grow irrespective of recession or boom. Nurse practitioners play an important role in this sector as a valuable help to physicians. You may also be able to find a role in places like health departments, educational institutions, schools, universities, nursing homes or home health care agencies.

Author's Bio: 

A nurse practitioner has a unique role to play in the healthcare sector because of the advanced training and experience. Online university degree search can be of help to find the right place for requisite advice and guidance.