How to become

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner?

How to become a Nurse Practitioner

What Do Practitioner Nurses Actually Do?

Acute care nurse practitioners (ACNP) work in hospitals or clinics that provide acute care. Patients are seen when they are unwell, admitted to the hospital, injured, or undergoing surgical treatments. They look after patients from the time they are admitted until the time they are discharged.They have the ability to request diagnostic and laboratory tests to aid in the diagnosis of illnesses. They may perform operations such as intubation, wound debridement, and the application of casts to injuries. They design a treatment plan and follow-up care as part of a health-care team.

Primary care nurse practitioners, often known as family nurse practitioners, account for more than 75% of nurse practitioners (FNP). In doctor’s offices and other outpatient settings, they may diagnose and treat short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic) disorders. In 20 states, FNPs can work independently, but in the rest, they must operate under the supervision of a physician.Orthopedics, paediatrics, cancer, gerontology, and psychiatry are just a few of the specialties available to nurse practitioners. They work as part of a patient’s health care team, diagnosing and treating illnesses connected to these disciplines.

What Exactly Is Nurse practitioner?

 A nurse practitioner is a health care worker who, either alone or in collaboration with a doctor, provides a wide variety of acute, primary, and specialty care services.Nurse practitioners are taking on a growing role as primary care providers as primary care physicians depart the field quicker than they can be replaced, especially in rural regions. They’re also necessary for specialist medicine, which has its own physician shortage.Nurse practitioners and physicians have a lot of overlap in their jobs, but nurse practitioners are more concerned with illness prevention and overall health and well-being.

Types nurse practitioner

1.  Family Nurse Practitioner

$92,878 is the average salary.

MSN degree with FNP certification are the educational requirements.

Responsibilities in Brief: Provide primary care to individuals of all ages.The family nurse practitioner is one of the most common categories of nurse practitioners (FNP). FNPs are family primary care providers that work with patients of all ages in a primary care environment. FNPs may treat patients of all ages, including frail senior patients, from newborn to old age.FNPs also play a key role in enabling patients to take care of themselves by educating them and their families on how to manage diseases, care for injuries, and make healthier lifestyle choices.

 RNs who aspire to become FNPs should pursue board certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Centre after completing an MSN-FNP programme (ANCC).

2. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

$100,217 is the average salary.

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is required, as well as board certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Centre (ANCC).Responsibilities in Brief: Acutely wounded or unwell people should be treated right away.Nurse practitioners who specialise in acute care work in hospitals and other settings where patients require emergency medical attention due to accident or disease.They are able to diagnose, treat, and educate patients about injuries and diseases. They can also offer advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle.

3. Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner 

$97,539 is the average salary.

MSN + Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Certification board certification are the educational requirements.Adult NPs are responsible for providing health care to patients from the age of adolescence forward.Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners deal with patients as early as late adolescence, treating acute and chronic diseases in primary care settings like health clinics or as a hospitalist in acute or long-term care. Some adult-gerontology NPs specialise on certain groups, such as college students, inmates in correctional facilities, or military patients.Earn an MSN and become board-certified as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP or Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP to begin a career as an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner. Both certificates are offered by the ANCC.

4. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

$99,205 is the average salary.

MSN plus two years of experience in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and certification are the educational requirements.Responsibilities in Brief: Provide sophisticated care to neonates, especially those delivered prematurely, during high-risk births, or with difficulties after birth.Neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs) provide care to the world’s tiniest and most vulnerable patients: newborn infants who are unwell, preterm, or damaged shortly after delivery. NNPs are in charge of their patients’ whole care, including monitoring specialised equipment such as incubators, assessing the infant’s physical status, prescribing drugs, and implementing therapies.This sort of nurse practitioner is trained to deal with neonates who require resuscitation, neonates who have been exposed to medicines while still in the womb, and ensuring that parents can bond with their very sick kid.

5. Nurse Practitioner (Acute or Primary Care)

$88,588 is the average salary.

Requirements in terms of education: MSN + certification as a Paediatric Nurse Practitioner (Adult or Primary Care)Responsibilities in Brief: As an individual primary care practitioner or as part of a paediatric acute care team, provide primary or acute health care to patients under the age of 21.Pediatric nurse practitioners work with children, teenagers, and young adults under the age of 21. They may work in primary care settings, where they undertake many of the same responsibilities as family nurse practitioners.RNs who want to work as a paediatric nurse practitioner should get a master’s degree and become board certified. The Paediatric Nursing Certification Board offers paediatric NP certification choices in primary care and acute care (PNCB).

6.Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

$103,426 is the average salary.

MSN and a bachelor’s degree are required. Board certification in psychiatric mental health nursingResponsibilities in Brief: Patients should get primary mental health treatment, which includes medication and therapy/counseling.Patients with mental illnesses get primary mental health treatment from psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs). PMHNPs can assess patients’ mental health needs, give psychotherapy or mental health counselling, and prescribe medicines to treat a wide range of mental illnesses. PMHNPs can also help with family counselling.Private practice is common for PMHNPs. This sort of nurse practitioner can also operate as part of a health-care team in places including hospitals, prisons, military bases, schools, and other places where a mental health practitioner is needed on call.To pursue a psychiatric nurse practitioner career path, RNs should earn an MSN and pursue board certification from the ANCC.

7.Nurse Practitioner Careers in Women’s Health:

Average Salary: $90,047

MSN required, as well as accreditation as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.

Provide primary or acute health care to female patients throughout their lives, generally from childhood to adulthood.

Women’s health nurse practitioners (WHNPs) treat older girls and women of all ages with basic and acute care. Women going through menopause can get OB/GYN treatment from WHNPs, including pap screenings, pelvic examinations, prenatal care, and counselling or recommendations. They can also refer patients to OB/GYN offices that specialise in women’s health.

RNs who want to work as a women’s health nurse practitioner should have a master’s degree and NCC board certification.

Steps to Become a Practitioner Nurses

If you want to become a nurse practitioner, you’ll need to follow the steps below.

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner: A Step-by-Step Guide

 STEP 1. Get a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree.Obtaining a BSN is the first step toward becoming a nurse practitioner. Traditional BSN programmes last four years and include general education, nursing-specific coursework, and clinical experience.

RNs having an associate degree in nursing (ADN) can participate in RN-to-BSN bridging programmes and acquire a BSN swiftly. Nurses with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees who want to get their BSN can take advantage of other fast-track opportunities.

 STEP 2. Pass the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses).

To get RN licensure, RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN). The computerised exam includes up to 205 multiple-choice questions as well as other question forms, and the difficulty of the questions is tailored to the test-performance.

 STEP 3. Acquire nursing experience

Prior to acceptance, most graduate programmes demand 1-2 years of clinical experience. RNs might also use this time to research their specialty in order to narrow down their future NP emphasis.

 STEP 4. Enrol in a graduate nursing programme.

A master’s degree in nursing (MSN) is now the minimal educational prerequisite for becoming a nurse practitioner (NP). However, there are numerous benefits to obtaining a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP). Adapting to a likely change to the DNP as the minimum NP degree, more earning potential, and more work options are just a few of them.

 MSN programmes last 1-2 years, while DNP programmes run 3-6 years. Both degree paths require students to specialise in a population.

 STEP 5. Obtain NP Licensure and Specialty Certification

NPs get their advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensure (APRNs). While certain state requirements differ, all need a passing score on a national board certification examination in the applicant’s specialty area, such as critical care, family nurse practitioner, paediatrics, or women’s health. The demanding tests, which are administered by approved certifying organisations, assess general advanced practice nursing competencies as well as knowledge of specialist populations. Candidates can only take tests in the fields in which they have received degrees.

 STEP 6. Look for work

NPs operate in a wide range of contexts. Hospital outpatient units, hospital inpatient units, private medical practices, and urgent care clinics are all popular places for NPs to work. In addition to community health centres, corporate clinics, federally qualified health centres, rural health clinics, and emergency rooms, NPs work in community health centres, corporate clinics, federally qualified health centres, and emergency rooms.

Courses to Become a Practitioner Nurses

 Requirements for an Associate’s Degree in Nursing

An RN licence is usually required for NP programmes for people with an associate degree in nursing. While additional admission criteria vary per institution, candidates are sometimes needed to have a 3.0 GPA or better.

 GRE test scores, letters of reference, official transcripts, a completed application, and a statement of purpose are examples of other admissions documents. Learners can also look at RN-to-NP and ADN-to-NP bridging programmes, which allow students to complete their degree requirements faster.

 Requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Many schools and institutions offer BSN-to-NP programmes, which require applicants to have a BSN and an RN licence. While admissions standards differ for each school, candidates might expect some program-to-program overlap.

 Prospective Students applying for a BSN should submit a full application as well as their authentic high school transcripts. Most colleges have a minimum GPA requirement, which is generally between 2.5 and 3.0.

 Some schools require applicants to have at least one year of prior nursing experience, while many BSN holders enter NP programmes without first working as a registered nurse. Furthermore, students may typically complete their clinical hours at a facility near their home while earning their degree online.

 Requirements for a Master of Science in Nursing

Prospective NPs can meet their state’s educational requirements by completing a master’s degree in nursing or a doctorate in nursing practise (DNP). MSN programmes typically take two years to complete.

 Candidates for MSN degrees can choose from a number of online programmes, which provide students the flexibility they need to work while pursuing their education. After graduation, online students can pursue national certification and work as NPs or participate in a DNP programme.

 Requirements for the MSN-to-DNP Program

DNP programmes are popular among nurses who seek to further their careers. MSN-to-DNP programmes are available at several schools and institutions, allowing students to complete an advanced degree in a shorter amount of time. Learners in these programmes spend much less time acquiring a doctorate than those with only a bachelor’s or associate’s degree since they already have a master’s.

 Candidates for the MSN-to-DNP programs can typically finish in as little as one year. The majority of programmes consist of 30-40 credits of classroom and 500 hours of supervised clinical practice.

Eligibility Criteria

To become a nurse practitioner, you must complete a rigorous training programme that includes evidence-based curriculum and clinical rotations. To become a nurse practitioner (NP), you must be a registered nurse (RN), have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), have completed an NP-focused graduate master’s or doctorate nursing programme, and have passed the national NP board certification test.

 In addition to essential science and maths courses, such as a pre-health sciences core, applicants must have a BSN degree and be currently licensed as an RN to be considered for admission to an NP programme.

Future Scope

Nursing is already a secure and in-demand profession. However, becoming a Nurse Practitioner might increase your career stability.Nurse practitioner positions are expected to grow 45 percent between 2020 and 2030, far faster than most other occupations, according to the BLS.

 Because of the ageing population, the need for primary care is likely to increase over the next five years. NPs will assist in meeting this rising need, particularly in underserved areas.

Nursing colleges/ Universities

 1.The University of Texas at Austin


Austin, TX

2.Brigham Young University


Provo, UT

3.Villanova University


Villanova, PA

4.Vanderbilt University


Nashville, TN

5.Emory University


Atlanta, GA

6.Stony Brook University


Stony Brook, NY

7.Case Western Reserve University


Cleveland, OH

8.Duke University


Durham, NC

9.Texas State University


San Marcos, TX

Salary Trend

 A recently minted Nurse Practitioner’s average income is at $81,830, which is around $25,000 less than the national average. After completing a fellowship or residency, many Nurse Practitioners’ salaries will often grow, and after a few years of experience, most will be earning close to the national average.


(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics)

 In the last five years (2017-2021), how much has the average salary increased?

 In the previous five years, the average pay of a Nurse Practitioner has increased by about 18%. This rise is mostly attributable to an increase in the use of Nurse Practitioners across practically all industries.


How Much will the Average Salary Grow in The Next 5 Years (2022-2026)?

Nurse Practitioner income is projected to increase by 16.27% over the next five years. This high rate coincides with the greater number of Nurse Practitioners being utilized mainly in the primary care community.

Overall Growth in Next Five Years18,59015.75%
FAQs:What makes a doctor different from a nurse practitioner?A doctor’s clinical talents and obligations are greater than those of an NP. NPs are, nonetheless, autonomous practitioners in some states.What is the average number of years it takes to become a nurse practitioner?It takes about 6-7 years to become a nurse practitioner: Earn your BSN in four years, then your NP in two to three years.Is a nurse practitioner more qualified than a registered nurse?An NP has more advanced training and clinical skills than a registered nurse.How can I become a nurse practitioner in the shortest amount of time?The quickest approach to become an NP is to enrol in a BSN programme and then apply to an NP school right away. An RN-NP, on the other hand, may require roughly the same amount of time.How difficult is it to train as a nurse practitioner?NP education can be difficult. Advanced healthcare themes and ethical considerations are covered in these courses. Long periods of standing and walking are required during clinical rotations (and sometimes running, in the case of emergency medicine). Many applicants have difficulty with testing, and aspiring nurse practitioners must pass the NCLEX-RN and board certification tests.