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Obligatory Steps to Become a Nurse Practitioner

January 30, 2023 · 2 min read

Becoming a nurse practitioner (NP) can be a challenging process, as it requires a significant amount of education and clinical training, it typically involves the following steps:

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) from an accredited college or university: While some NP programs will accept applicants with an associate degree in nursing, most programs require a BSN degree.
  2. Obtain a registered nurse (RN) license: After completing a BSN program, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in order to become a licensed RN.
  3. Gain clinical experience: Before enrolling in an NP program, it is recommended to gain experience working as a registered nurse (RN) in a clinical setting. Most programs require a minimum of one year of full-time experience as an RN.
  4. Enroll in a master's degree program in nursing with a focus on becoming a nurse practitioner: Many universities and colleges offer master’s degree programs in nursing with a focus on becoming a nurse practitioner. These programs typically take two years to complete and cover advanced topics such as pharmacology, diagnostic reasoning, and patient management.
  5. Pass a certification exam: After completing a master's degree program, you will be required to pass a certification exam. There are various certification exams to choose from, depending on the area of specialty of the NP.
  6. Obtain state licensure: After passing the certification exam, you will need to obtain licensure in the state where you plan to practice. Licensure requirements vary by state, but most states require NPs to pass the certification exam and have a valid RN license.
  7. Maintain certification: To maintain your certification as a nurse practitioner, you will need to complete continuing education (CE) hours. The number of CE hours required varies depending on the certification, and usually ranges between 20 to 40 hours per year.

Once you become a nurse practitioner, you will also be responsible for staying up-to-date with the latest medical advancements and continuing your education to maintain your license and certification.

All in all, becoming a nurse practitioner can also be a very rewarding career choice. You will have the opportunity to provide high-level care to patients and have more autonomy in your practice than a traditional registered nurse. Additionally, many NPs find that they enjoy the challenges of the profession and the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of their patients.

by Olena Kukhtyk

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