5 Perks of Becoming a Nurse Practitioner

  • Wide Range of Work Environments
  • Much Higher Than Average Wages
  • Much Faster Than Average Job Growth
  • Flexible Work Schedules
  • Provide Direct Patient Care

When considering nursing careers, there are many reasons to become a nurse practitioner. This career path requires a master’s degree in nurse, state licensure and certification after passing the nursing board’s examination. This career path offers many personal and professional rewards and opportunities.

1. Wide Range of Work Environments

Advanced practice nurses work in many different environments, making this one of the top five reasons to become a nurse practitioner. There are jobs in health clinics and health departments for those who want to work in public service or nonprofit organizations. Many private practice doctor’s offices include nurse practitioners. In this environment, the nurse practitioner sees patients for routine care to reduce the burden on the physician. Nurse practitioners may also work in hospitals as hospitalists. In many places, nurse practitioners provide care at walk-in clinics in stores and pharmacies.

2. Much Higher Than Average Wages

The average salary for an advanced practice nurse is $54 per hour or $113,000 per year as of 2016. The lowest 10 percent of earners earned about $81,000 per year while the upper 10 percent averaged more than $182,000 per year. Even the lowest paid nurse practitioners earn a wage that is much higher than average for all occupations.

3. Much Faster Than Average Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, advanced practice nurses jobs will increase by 31 percent between 2016 and 2026. There are a few reasons for this growth including the aging of the American population and the increase in chronic diseases that require regular management. Job growth will occur throughout the USA, with a higher concentration of job openings in metropolitan areas. This means that advanced practice nurses will be able to choose where they want to live and still be able to find many job opportunities.

4. Flexible Work Schedules

Depending on the work environment, an advanced practice nurse may have a lot of flexibility in their work hours. Those who provide direct patient care in hospitals may be on call and work nights or weekends. For those with a family, this could make it easier to take kids to school and attend after school activities. Those who work in offices will usually have their nights and weekends free.

5. Provide Direct Patient Care

Advanced practice nurses typically provide direct patient care. They can diagnose and treat common medical conditions. In most states, they can prescribe medications. Anyone who enjoys working with people and making a positive difference to their health and well-being should include this in their list of the top five reasons to become an advanced practice nurse. These healthcare practitioners get to be a valuable information resource for their patients.

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These top five reasons to become a nurse practitioner are all on the practical side. Many people who enter this career path will also want to consider the subjective side of the work, including a desire to serve others and to help people live healthy and happy lives. This list of five reasons to become an advanced practice nurse gives every registered nurse or nursing student something to consider as they decide on their future career plans.