July 18, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
If you have obtained your BSN degree and are considering your next career move, it is worth taking the Master’s level course work necessary to become a nurse practitioner.
Nurse practitioners are nurses who have completed an advanced level of training that qualifies them to function alongside physicians. As a nurse practitioner, you would acquire the qualifications necessary for diagnosing medical conditions, issuing treatment recommendations and monitoring the progress of patients.
Today there is an increasing demand for nurse practitioners as hospitals, government healthcare bodies and various health insurance companies are exploring more economical ways to provide standard patient care.
Take a look at some of the health care settings where nurse practitioners are in the highest demand today.
Public Health Setting
Work options for nurse practitioners are endless in public health. Two of the most popular of these options involve working for a public school district or managing employee health for large corporations.
In the public school district, you would be responsible for monitoring the health of all students, maintaining health records of the students or staff members, ordering screening and laboratory testing as indicated, making diagnoses, and putting together effective treatment plans as necessary. You would also manage any crisis just as a physician would and even conduct training for other faculty. You would also coordinate with parents and primary care physicians, including local health department. In the corporate world, you would handle employees’ health complaints and occupational health issues as as well as worker’s compensation.
In recent years, there is a growing trend for primary care physicians to see patients only in their offices. When a patient is admitted to a hospital, they are first attended to by a hospitalist or a hospital-based physician. With their advanced levels of training, Nurse practitioners are stepping into those roles. Their responsibilities in this setting include monitoring a patient’s progress, reviewing the results of testing, coordinating diagnostic information and issuing a consultation to a specialist if necessary.
Medical Office Setting
In a medical office setting, you would typically work in private practice either for a large medical group or for a solo practicing physician. Duties in a medical office setting would include examining patients routinely and putting together a detailed care plan for each patient.
In a Research Capacity
If you would like to become involved in university research projects you would have to first undergo the specialised training of a nurse practitioner. As part of a research team you would study clinical systems or become otherwise involved in the educational aspects of the healthcare field. With sufficient experience it is also possible to become a program director or even a clinical professor
Specialising – Going One Step Ahead
If you have very specific career goals, a nurse practitioner is an excellent starting point. For example, you may choose to become a gynaecology oncologist, where you would treat female cancer patients. Or you could first specialise in paediatrics and then focus on paediatrics urology, treating children suffering from urinary tract problems. Choosing one of these career paths can be very rewarding as you get to work in a specialised unit or hospital and even lead a team of healthcare professionals across different specialties.