Nurses rank in different categories based on one’s level of training. An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) is a medical professional that has a Masters of Science in Nursing that enables them to specialize in a specific field, for instance, oncology. Registered Nurses (RN) can perform a few similar functions as APRNs however they rank lower because they have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. This difference in training is the reason why APRNs are higher than RNs.

Postgraduate training enables APRNs to participate in policy-making at the managerial level of a hospital or medical facility. These leadership skills also come in handy when an APRN wants to practice independently by starting a medical facility.

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Nurse Practitioner vs RN

Here are a few roles that are within the scope of daily duties performed by an APRN…

1. APRNs Can Prescribe Medication

Advanced training in pharmacology equips APRNs with prescriptive authority. This grants them legal authority to prescribe medication to patients. Some states such as California require APRNs to issue prescriptions in collaboration with a doctor. New York requires newly graduated APRNs to prescribe medication while under the supervision of a doctor for three years.

2. APRNs Can Own Private Practices

Private practice is a better option for medical professionals who’ve identified a particular need in the community which other hospitals aren’t paying attention to. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses can freely operate private medical facilities in states such as Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, and 17 others spread across the country. APRNs in Illinois and Wisconsin can only launch independent practices after partnering with physicians.

3. APRNs Can Create Patient Care Plans

A patient care plan is a document created by an APRN to record the patient’s condition, objectives of treatment, and any additional instructions for RNs and Licensed Practicing Nurses (LPNs). Medical insurance companies also require patient care plans when investigating cases that require compensation.

What Is The Quickest Way to Become a Nurse Practitioner?

1. Enroll In A One-Year LPN Program

A Licenses Practice Nurse (LPN) trains in nursing school for 12 months before sitting for the National Examination Council (NCLEX) exam. The LPN course also consists of course units that appear in APRN training and this equips students to excel at advanced academic levels.

2. Spend Two Years in RN School

A student that lacks any medical training has to spend four years pursuing an undergraduate or Bachelor’s degree in nursing. Licensed Practicing Nurses have the freedom of spending only two years in nursing school by enrolling for LPN to RN bridge programs.

3. Enrol for an M.Sc in Nursing and Become a Certified APRN

Students who want to become APRNs spend two years in post-graduate school. These schools also expect students seeking admission to meet a minimum requirement of clinical hours. This final stage tends to get complicated due to the intensity of clinical practice and trials.

Factors You Should Consider When Choosing A Specialty in Nursing

1. Do You Enjoy Working With People or Machines?

Nurses who are extroverted thrive in busy waiting rooms and specialties that involve plenty of interaction with doctors, patients, and fellow nurses. On the flip side, introverted nurses display amazing abilities in areas with minimal patient interaction such as legal nurse consultant.

2. What Do Future Career Prospects Look Like?

Choosing a nursing specialty that’s oversupplied with labor poses challenges in the future due to limited opportunities for career growth. If let’s say you work in a state that’s known for oncologists, it will take you a significant amount of time to move from entry-level salary to premium hourly rates.

3. Where Are The Best Job Markets for My Specialty?

Some specialties attract top dollar rates in specific cities or states due to high consumer demand. It’s important to do thorough research on potential employers to help you figure out whether relocating after school might be a good option.

APRNs Rank Higher Than RNs

APRNs earn 50-60% more money than RNs and the advanced training also enables them to lead other nurses like LPNs and Clinical Nurse Assistants (CNAs). Fortunately, it’s easy to graduate from one level of nursing to the next because you only need a bridging course.

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