Campus Masters of Nurse Practitioner Programs in Alabama
Nurse practitioner masters degree schools aim to help nurses develop the skills and knowledge to take a larger role in helping their patients. Generally designed with Registered Nurses (RNs) in mind, programs build on existing knowledge of bedside care. Programs might focus on identifying and diagnosing patient health issues. And they might expand on that, talking about how to create solutions to overcome them. They may do all that while retaining the eye for patient comfort that makes nursing roles so unique. You might find all this in a local graduate school setting. So in addition to pursuing your passion, you could do it with the support of your campus community and access to useful school facilities.
Being a nurse practitioner typically requires that a current RN-BSN nurse earn a nurse practitioner masters degree. Candidates also generally must seek a relevant certification to their practice area.i Why the additional education? Because nurse practitioners hold unique responsibilities. They are able to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication, in many cases without the supervision of a physician.
NP schools aim to prepare students for this in a variety of ways. Some may do this by focusing on certain demographics. These programs might discuss a variety of medical topics specific to a certain group. This might be age, gender, or another category. Other programs might survey each of those groups to prepare for any scenario.
The specifics of what a certain nurse practitioner school may cover depends partially on the focus of that program. In other words, the type of nurse practitioner role they're looking toward. Other factors include student preference, and unique aspects of that school. For more information, contact your school or program for details.
One major influence on your choice of nurse practitioner masters degree schools may be the focus areas offered. This might have to do with the type of healthcare you're interested in providing, the type of facility, and the types of patients you might see. You concentration will likely impact the program's curriculum, clincial requirements and end goals. Here are some examples of the kinds of programs you might encounter.
The specific concentration areas available may vary between program and school. As such, some may not exactly match these descriptions, might have fewer options, or might include things not mentioned here. Some may even span several of these examples. For example, Family Nurse Practitioner or FNP Masters Degree Schools might look at primary care for a wide range of ages and lifestyles. If you want to learn more about your options, reach out to the school you’re considering with questions.
Earning your nurse practitioner masters on a graduate school campus could be unique in a few different ways. Because nurse practitioner schools tend to be aimed at registered nurses, some schools offer flexible scheduling options. That could help to accommodate different shifts.
And that’s not the only way graduate schools try and help their students succeed. They also might have labs and simulated clinic environments, as well as counseling and career services. This could be a huge benefit in such a hands on profession as nursing. You might be able to watch live demonstrations by professors, then try out techniques yourself. Plus, many schools maintain relationships with local hospitals, if you don’t attend a school with its own hospital. That might help facilitate observation and clinical experience, important components of your education.
While earning your nurse practitioner masters degree, classroom and lab work might not be the only requirements. You might also have to complete field experience. This could include observations and clinical hours, completed at a local hospital or other medical facility. How your school organizes this may vary. It could depend on the requirements for nurse practitioners in your state, and the variables of your particular program. Clinical rotations typically happen near the end of nurse practitioner masters programs. They may involve one or several different placements. Follow up with your school for more information on this and other potential field requirements.
The specific certification or licensure you might need to become a nurse practitioner might vary. Factors that could influence the credentials you need include:
In fact, certification is one reason some people might choose to earn their nurse practitioner masters degree in a graduate school over another format. A school based in the same state or community where you want to work might know a little more about what certification you’ll need in your area. Some may even help students prepare for the certification process through the way they design their curriculum. Follow up with individual schools as programs vary.
Nurse practitioner salary can be affected by a variety of factors. This includes level of experience, practice specialty, facility type, geographic area, and more. In 2015, the estimated national average salary for nurse practitioners was $98,190.ii Reach out to your school’s nursing department or career counseling services to learn more about nurse practitioner employment in your area.
Begin searching for nurse practitioner masters degree schools here. GradSchools.com has collected a variety of potential schools for your considerations. Review the sponsored listings, and when you find an NP school you think you might be interested in, click on the program to learn more. Then get in touch to ask any questions, or even start your application!
[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm#tab-4 | [ii] bls.gov/oes/current/oes291171.htm