When you have trained as a registered nurse, you may be curious whether you want to undertake additional training and pursue a more advanced position.
One of the most popular follow-on roles for nurses with a bit more experience under their belts is that of a nurse practitioner. The average applicant for this course needs around five years of clinical experience as a minimum in nursing.
On the spectrum of nursing, nurse practitioners are somewhere in the middle. Still, they offer a valid advancement in the field, potentially allowing you to open a practice with this additional training if you wish to.
But is the role of a nurse practitioner different from that of a standard registered nurse, and what exactly does this role entail? That’s a big area; in this article, some of the roles’ core aspects will be examined.
Nursing is a profession wherein you need to perform diagnostics, or you may be expected to be able to question (within reasons) diagnostics made by doctors and other health care professionals. When you undertake one of the online nurse practitioner programs from Ulndy, there will be a specific emphasis on diagnostics and even an extension of your knowledge relating to pharmacology. Thus, helping you with the diagnostics of those under your care.
The planning and implementation of treatments are also a core part of the job of a nurse practitioner.
Indeed, you may need to meet with patients to help them with their treatment plans or to work with them to draw them up and answer any queries that they may have about them. You will also be responsible for ensuring that each treatment goes to plan and that any concerns that you or the patient have been picked up quickly.
The prescription capabilities of a nurse practitioner are wider, too, with you being able to prescribe antibiotics, asthma inhalers, and other medications outside of the realm of a standard registered nurse.
You will also be able to order tests for patients and be expected to interpret the results and take actions based on the clinical findings. This enhanced level of pharmacology will mean that you will need to be able to identify potential issues with some medications and be aware of interactions and side effects.
Although the role is usually based in either a hospital or a doctor’s surgery, this does not mean you will have to oversee and diagnose everything! Much like a generalized family doctor, there may be instances where you cannot make a diagnosis or help a specific patient with their complaint, so you will need to refer their case to a specialist.
As touched on before, many people who train as nurse practitioners do so to open their own clinical practices. This means that you will be expected to oversee the management of those on your team, which is another role that can be expanded on when you undertake any nurse practitioner course.