3 Advanced Practice Career Options for Nurses

Becoming a nurse is one of the most selfless and challenging career choices that a person can make. Not only do you spend years acquiring knowledge and gaining experience in order to become a nurse in the first place, but you then take the skills and knowledge that you acquire and use them to help improve the lives and conditions of your patients on a day-to-day basis.

 Working as a registered nurse (RN) is indeed a great calling in and of itself. However, some RNs decide at some point in their career that they would like to take things farther and pursue advanced career options. There are a great many of these options that a nurse can consider, all of which include areas that are currently in need of qualified and skilled nurses.

 Such advanced practice career options involve specializing in a specific area of medicine. Some nurses are even able to gain greater freedom to practice independently by pursuing such options.

 If you are a nurse who is considering an advanced practice career path, here are three such options that you can choose from.

3 Advance Career Options for Nurses

1. Family Nurse Practitioner

One advanced career option that many nurses find appealing these days is that of family nurse practitioner, or FNP. In the capacity of an FNP, a nurse is able to practice medicine in a more generalized fashion. They can even, in some circumstances, practice independently of a physician.

This means that an FNP can potentially have the freedom to see patients, evaluate their conditions, and diagnose them. With the exception of prescribing certain medications, such FNPs can do all that a physician can do in the family practice setting.

Becoming an FNP is a long process for nurses. It is necessary to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, obtain experience as an RN, and then complete an applicable master’s degree program before applying for FNP certification. Nurses who already hold some sort of master’s degree can choose to enroll in post MSN FNP online programs.

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2. Nurse Anesthetist

The job of a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is one that is well-known within the nursing community as offering a nurse the highest level of earning potential possible. In some states, CRNAs earn an average salary of over $200,000 a year. That being said, pursuing this advanced practice career choice isn’t the easiest path that a nurse can take.

Obtaining certification as a CRNA requires at least a master’s degree and years of experience working in the clinical setting. The job of a CRNA is a challenging and complex one and requires the right preparation.

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3. Nurse Midwife

Many expectant mothers these days are opting more and more frequently to be placed under the care of a nurse-midwife(1) for their prenatal, labor and delivery, and post-natal care.

A nurse might choose this route if they wish to work specifically with expectant mothers either independently or alongside an OB-GYN. The licensing requirements for a nurse midwife can vary by state, so make sure that you are following the right road in order to pursue this career option.

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