NPs often enter into advanced training so that they can specialize in a certain aspect of health care, like pediatrics, or geriatrics. Those who choose to earn their advanced degree will be licensed to practice in a role that is remarkably similar to that of a doctor in general practice. They can prescribe medications, order diagnostic tests, diagnose illnesses, recommend a course of treatment, and perform almost all of the functions of a GP or family doctor.
Getting your Nursing Degree
Before you can earn your NP license, you must first have a license to practice as an RN, a Bachelor’s Degree, practical nursing experience, a Graduate degree, and training as a specialist in some area of nursing. Once you have met all of these requirements, you will be eligible to write the Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam. Passing that exam then certifies you to practice in the state or province where you wrote the exam.
Becoming a Nurse
In total, all of this education takes at least 8 to 10 years, so becoming a Nurse Practitioner requires determination, hard work, and perseverance.Nurse practitioners are practicing all over North America now, due to the shortage of family doctors in many areas. In some jurisdictions an NP must work under the supervision of a doctor, but even then, it can be hugely beneficial to a doctor with a practice that is too large for one doctor to hire an NP, and essentially have a second doctor on site who requires minimal oversight.