Nurse Practitioner Masters Degree Programs
It takes a master's degree to become a nurse practitioner, who can act as a primary physician at a hospital, clinic or doctor's office. Here's what you can expect from these programs.
Nurse Practitioner Master's Program
Nurse practitioners combine nursing and healthcare skills to serve as a patient's or family's primary or specialty care provider. Many nurse practitioners work in a specialty. The most popular are women's health, pediatrics and family practice. Acute care, adult practice and geriatrics are also popular specialties. Nurse practitioners can also work in less popular, but important specialties, like neonatology and mental health. In some states, nurse practitioners are also allowed to prescribe medicine.
Students develop a professional knowledge of their chosen specialty through a combination of didactic and clinical instruction. Because nurse practitioners often take leadership roles, programs often emphasize leadership and organizational problem solving. Programs are many times available online or on a part-time basis because most students enroll are already registered nurses. Nurses also learn to work with physicians to treat common health problems, manage chronic illnesses and administer diagnostic tests. Programs can last between one and three years.
Applicants to nurse practitioner master's programs must have a bachelor's degree, and the strongest candidates will have a bachelor's degree in a related field, like nursing, biology, chemistry or medical technology; however, nearly all nurse practitioner candidates have nursing degrees and those who don't must have nursing experience. Students should also be prepare to submit a resume, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and in some cases proof that the candidate is a registered nurse. Many times, an interview will also be conducted.
Classes in nurse practitioner master's degree programs combine classroom coursework and clinical hours. Here are some classes you might find in these programs:
- Medical technology
- Family practice
- Research methods
Career Outlook and Salary Information
Like most medical professions, job opportunities for nurses, including nurse practitioners, are expected to grow faster than the national average, with an expected growth rate of 26% between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Nurse practitioners made an average annual salary of $91,450 as of May 2012, according to the BLS. In the same year, the lowest 10% of nurse practitioners earned $64,100 per year, while the top 90% of workers made approximately $120,500 (BLS).
Related to Nurse Practitioner Masters
- Recently Updated
Nurse practitioner programs are often part of a master's degree program and prepare graduates to perform advanced levels of...
Nurse practitioners and nurses are both healthcare workers specializing in patient care, rehabilitation and the education of...
Nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are healthcare workers who typically work under the supervision of...
Advanced nurse practitioners are registered nurses who provide advanced level health care services to patients. Advanced...
- How to Become a Health Nurse Practitioner
- Chronic Pain Nurse Practitioner: Education Requirements and Career Info
- BSN to Nurse Practitioner: Education Options and Program Overviews
- Foreign Trade Analyst: Job & Career Info
- Career Information for a Degree in Occupational Safety Technologies
- Utility Meter Reader: Job Description & Requirements
- Cytogenetic Technologist: Job Description & Requirements