Accelerated Nurse Practitioner Programs
A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse who has earned a license as a registered nurse (RN) and a Master of Science (MSN) in nursing degree. The International Council of Nurses defines a Nurse Practitioner (NP) as “a registered nurse who has acquired the expert knowledge base, complex decision-making skills and clinical competencies for expanded practice, the characteristics of which would be determined by the context in which s/he is credentialed to practice.” Nurse Practitioners differ from doctors as they’re educated under the nursing model, a model designed to provide holistic and preventive care focused on their patients well-being.
What are Accelerated Nurse Practitioner Programs?
Accelerated Nurse Practitioner Programs (ANPP) are designed for baccalaureate graduates of other studies, including engineering, biology, business, the humanities education, the social sciences, communication and the arts, social work, and from other health care fields. Some students have extensive post college work experience and others are recent graduates.
Upon graduating the accelerated program, you are eligible for professional registered nurse (RN) licensing examinations and nurse practitioner licensure and national credentialing. These programs move at a very fast pace; to be most successful in this type of program you must be able to accommodate your style of learning to this fast paced method of teaching. Many hospitals and health-care facilities and clinics prefer to hire nurse practitioners who have undergone accelerated learning programs because participants typically demonstrate a higher level of competency among their peers, which makes them flexible to work with and adaptable to many different environments.
Are there pre-requisites to enter an Accelerated Nurse Practitioner Program?
You must have a BA or BS degree in order to apply for an ANPP. In addition to the degree, most programs require you to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and some require GRE scores, with a competitive GRE score falling within the top 50th percentile on both the verbal and quantitative components. There are prerequisite classes that many online programs require. Usually schools require that classes have been taken within the past ten years and genetics within the past five years. Many also require transcript assessment to determine whether or not your previous credits will transfer. Typical required classes include:
- Developmental Psychology
Before being accepted to the program you must pass the pre-screening test that many universities offer. In addition, there are programs that require you to have CPR certification by the program application date.
What Does a Typical Accelerated Nurse Practitioner Program Entail?
Each program varies depending on the school you chose to go to and the type of nurse practitioner title you’re interested in. Your education should allow you to focus on the area of medicine that most interests you. For example, if you enjoy high-pressure situations, you could work as a critical care nurse, or if you enjoy working with children you could choose neonatal nursing or pediatrics. Programs are looking for candidates who have a more mature outlook on life, are responsible, assertive and goal oriented, and who are quick learners and possess a high competence in clinical skills. One must have these skills in order to keep up with the accelerated nurse practitioner program’s coursework and clinical studies.
What Happens After Completing an Accelerated Nurse Practitioner Program?
After completing the coursework and clinical experience, the candidate must then pass a national board certification. The two biggest certifying bodies include the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Both these groups require applications to fully complete the accelerated nurse practitioner program to be eligible to test for certification. Each state has their own criteria and licensing/certification criteria, therefore the candidate must be licensed by the state in which he or she wishes to practice in. One must know their state nurse practitioner laws because licensing periods vary by state with some requiring biennial relicensing and others requiring triennial relicensing.
What are the Job Prospects for Students of Accelerated Nurse Practitioner Programs?
It is estimated that in the next five years there will be a need for about a million new nurses to take over a generation of aging nurses, and employment of nurses is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2008 to 2018. The country’s population is steadily growing, and there are more health needs now then there ever have been before. Acquiring a degree as a Nurse Practitioner is therefore quite practical. An accelerated program helps suit the demand for health care and will help you get into your career at a quicker rate. Jobs vary by geographic settings, but overall employment of Nurse Practitioners is growing faster than the average occupation.
As a nurse practitioner you work with all age-ranges of patients and can treat both physical and mental conditions. A nurse practitioner performs physical exams, orders and interprets diagnostic tests, diagnoses disease, and provides appropriate treatment, including prescribing medication. Many people use nurse practitioners as their primary health care provider.
Other examples of things you may be doing as a nurse practitioner include:
- Prescribing physical therapy or other rehabilitation treatments
- Performing and interpreting routine lab tests, bon x-rays, EKGs, or other diagnostic studies
- Providing prenatal care and family planning services
- Administering immunizations, child vaccinations, and other related child-care services
- Counseling and educating patients on health behaviors, self-care, and treatment options
- Assisting or performing minor surgeries, such as dermatological biopsies or casting
- Obtaining medical histories and conducting physical examinations
Every state has their own guidelines for specific duties a nurse practitioner can perform. The Pearson Report provides a current state-by-state breakdown for those roles.
There are many settings in which a nurse practitioner can practice in. Some of these options include:
- Hospitals and hospital clinics
- Community health clinics, centers, or urgent care locations
- Hospice care
- Women’s health clinics
- Children’s clinics
- Nurse Practitioner private practice offices
- Nursing homes
- Nursing schools or private/public schools, universities and college working as a professor
- School/college clinics
No matter what path you take—an educator, administrator, researcher, or health care provider—accelerated nurse practitioner programs enable you to establish a strong foothold in a successful career that is helping save lives daily.
What is the Typical Salary for a Graduate of Accelerated Nurse Practitioner Programs?
The average salary for a nurse practitioner is $78,000, although it depends on the title and place a nurse practitioner chooses to work. A breakdown of average salaries with related titles:
- Nurse Practitioner Urgent Care: $123,000
- Geriatric Adult: $105,000
- Family Nurse Practitioner: $92,000
- Nurse Practitioner Mental Health: $97,000
- Nurse Practitioner Cardiology: $108,000
- Hospitalist Nurse Practitioner: $100,000
- Oncology Nurse Practitioner: $97,000