Advanced Practices Take Nursing Career to Next Level
Nursing is among the occupations in the highest demand locally and nationally, and offers excellent opportunities for good pay and benefits, but requiring a high degree of skill. Some nurses, however, choose to raise their skill level even higher, pursuing careers as advanced-practice nurses.
In Orange County, the occupation of registered nurse ranks 12th for projected job openings from 2010 through 2020, according to the California Employment Development Department. In the 10-year period, more than 7,200 job openings for RNs are projected, including 3,740 newly created jobs and 3,460 due to RNs leaving the occupation or the county. This will bring the total number of RNs in the county to 22,850 by 2020.
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Advanced-practice nurses are registered nurses who have received additional education and training that enables them to perform tasks most RNs would not be qualified to carry out. The four largest categories of advanced-practice nurses are nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives.
According to the American Nurses Association, there are more than 200,000 advanced-practice nurses in the United States, about 8 percent of the total number of RNs. Of these, approximately 141,000 are nurse practitioners, 72,000 are clinical nurse specialists, 32,000 are certified registered nurse anesthetists and 14,000 are certified nurse midwives.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all four advanced-practice specialties will be in high demand through 2020, particularly in medically underserved areas such as inner cities and rural areas. Relative to physicians, advanced-practice nurses increasingly serve as lower-cost primary-care providers.
Nurse practitioners are RN’s with graduate- level training in diagnostic and health-assessment skills. Their training allows them to provide basic medical care and relieve physicians of many time consuming tasks. Under the direction of a supervising physician, they interview patients, take medical histories, perform physical examinations, order laboratory tests, make tentative diagnoses, and prescribe appropriate treatments.
If they have a nurse-practitioner furnishing number, they may prescribe medication and medical devices.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common specialty areas for nurse practitioners are family practice, adult practice, women’s health, pediatrics, acute care, and geriatrics. However, there are a variety of other specialties that nurse practitioners can choose, including neonatology and mental health.
The EDD notes that some HMOs employ nurse practitioners in addition to physicians, a trend that has heightened the demand for nurse practitioners and is expected to continue.
According to the California Board of Registered Nursing, there are more than 14,000 nurse practitioners actively licensed in the state. In California, a nurse practitioner must possess a valid RN license and complete a program approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing consisting of graduate-level training.
Training options abound within nursing field
Those wanting to enter the thriving field of nursing have a range of options when it comes to acquiring the education, training and licensing required. Those hoping to become registered nurses typically take one of three paths, they earn a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, an associate degree in nursing or earn a diploma from an approved nursing program, in addition to acquiring the necessary licensing.
Many nursing students opt to attend local two-year schools, such as Houston’s San Jacinto College, to earn their associate degree in nursing. San Jacinto’s degree program, which can be a three-, four- or five-semester program of study, includes classroom; laboratory work; and clinical training involving simulation labs using low- and high-fidelity manikins, and external clinical settings.
In all nursing education programs, students are not only required to take courses in nursing, but also anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology and other social and behavioral sciences, as well as liberal arts.
“San Jacinto College’s ADN program includes courses like Foundations for Nursing Practice, Health Assessment, General Psychology, Complex Nursing Concepts of Adult Health, Pharmacology, Lifespan Growth and Development, Care of Children and Families, Technical Report Writing and Mental Health Nursing,” said Serita Dickey, dean of natural and health sciences at San Jacinto College.
And the coursework for a bachelor’s degree in nursing is very similar to that of an associate degree. A strong background in the sciences, as well as the liberal arts, is emphasized.
“The baccalaureate degree in nursing prepares the graduate to provide nursing care to individuals, families and groups of all ages in a variety of settings,” said Cathy Rozmus, associate dean for Academic Affairs at theUTHealth School of Nursing.
“The BSN student takes two years of liberal arts courses, including sciences such as anatomy and physiology, chemistry and microbiology. Students then take four semesters of nursing-specific courses.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing find entry-level positions, then take advantage of tuition reimbursement benefits to work toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing by completing an RN-to-BSN program.
Originally posted 2013-06-14 09:32:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter