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Steps To Get Your Nurse Practitioner NP Nursing Pin

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Nurse practitioners have the advantage of being able to work independently owing to their advanced nursing training and graduate-level degree. Essentially, they are steps higher than registered nurses, and can do tasks that RNs aren’t licensed to perform. Often, they are hired by hospitals and clinics to provide services and support to individual doctors or a team of physicians in their specialized area of nursing.

Getting your NP Nursing Pin and becoming a nurse practitioner can be a pretty long process, but these steps can hopefully make the path seem clearer:

1. Become a Registered Nurse

There are many ways to become a registered nurse, with the most common in recent years being through diploma courses in nursing. Recently, however, these diploma courses have become less popular with the demand for nurses with college degrees. To become a registered nurse, the nursing graduate must pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

2. Earn your Bachelor’s Degree

Those who became registered nurses through diploma courses or associate degrees must next work for a bachelor’s degree, which is a requirement for graduate degree courses such as the MSN (Master of Science in Nursing). There are several ways to earn a bachelor’s degree, and bridging programs are available as well to those who are already registered nurses but want to earn their BSN.

3. Obtain work experience

After earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing, work experience must be obtained. Most nursing graduate degree courses require a certain length of work experience on top of the educational requirements before approving admission to prospective students. The work experience must be relevant to the field of nursing you are trying to pursue, as this will greatly help in the career advancement and opportunities that are presented to you along the way.

4. Get a Graduate Degree

A graduate degree is a must for those who aim to become nurse practitioners, with a Master of Science in Nursing degree being the minimum degree requirement. Acquiring a graduate degree and a shiny new nursing pin is not the end of the journey, though, as aspiring nurse practitioners must be licensed and decide on a specialization before becoming full-fledged NPs.

5. Obtain a license and certification

Nurse practitioners are required by state to earn a license and be certified. Different states, however, have different requirements for licensing so nurses who aspire to become NPs are advised to check their own state’s licensing requirements before deciding on their education and training options.

6. Decide on a specialty

Career advancement opportunities increase with education and specialization, and it is no different with Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who are advised to get additional credentials on specialized fields in nursing. Specializations include Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), among others.

The draw of becoming a nurse practitioner lies in the way they are able to operate independently, without the supervision of other nurses or doctors. They can open clinics, and focus on the population that they are interested in the most such as geriatrics. Nurse practitioners are also well-compensated, and have higher salaries than most other nursing professionals. 


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