APEA Builds Awareness of NP Profession Among High School Students

12-May-2017


APEA Encourages High School Seniors to Become Nurse Practitioners

Advanced Practice Education Associates (APEA) is working to foster interest in the NP profession by reaching out to high school students with information and resources. APEA, a national company with headquarters in the Lafayette, LA, area, is a proud sponsor of the 2017 Daily Advertiser Sports Awards, which recognizes high school athletes in southwest Louisiana.

Students, we welcome you to our website! We are happy that you want to learn more about the nurse practitioner profession. This article provides an overview of what nurse practitioners do and how they are prepared for practice.

What Is a Nurse Practitioner?
A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse (RN) who has obtained graduate level education and advanced clinical training. An NP is an “advanced practice nurse” who can assess, diagnose and treat patients. An NP's scope of practice—in other words, their job duties and responsibilities—is more advanced than that of an RN. The NP profession is more than 50 years old, and more than 200,000 NPs are currently in practice in the United States.

How Is an NP Educated?

An NP must become an RN before progressing to an NP education program. For many years, a master’s degree has been the entry-level degree for NP practice. Today the NP profession is transitioning to a doctoral degree as the entry to practice. The degree awarded is called a doctor of nursing practice (DNP). NP education programs are approximately 2 years in length and include classroom and clinical training.

What Does a Nurse Practitioner Do?
NPs provide a full range of primary, acute and specialty health care services, including:

• Ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays
• Diagnosing and treating acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections, and injuries
• Prescribing medications and other treatments (NPs have the authority to prescribe medications in all states)
• Managing patients' overall care
• Counseling patients about their health
 • Educating patients on disease prevention and positive health and lifestyle choices.

NPs perform this work autonomously and in collaboration with other health care professionals. NPs work in all types of clinical settings, including hospitals, primary care and specialty offices, walk-in clinics, and the military.

A characteristic that distinguishes NPs from other health care providers is their emphasis on the health and well-being of the whole person. NPs focus not only on the diagnosis and treatment of illness but also on health promotion, disease prevention, and health education and counseling. NPs utilize their training to help patients make smarter health and lifestyle choices, which can improve health and lower health care costs.

What Is the Job Market Like for NPs?
For several years, national surveys have ranked the NP profession as one of the top career choices. This is due to high demand, high salary and high career satisfaction. The mean annual salary for NPs in 2017 approaches $100,000, and the Bureau of Labor projects 30% growth in the demand for NPs over the next 7 years.

For More Information
APEA recommends viewing the following resources for more information about the NP profession:

• American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP): www.aanp.org
• AANP Fact Sheet on NPs: https://www.aanp.org/all-about-nps/np-fact-sheet
• Infographic about NPs: https://www.aanp.org/all-about-nps/what-is-an-np-2
• Planning your NP education: https://www.aanp.org/education/student-resource-center/planning-your-np-education

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Advanced Practice Education Associates is an approved provider of nurse practitioner continuing education by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
AANP Provider #100820