Nurse practitioners are primary care providers that work in partnership with doctors to provide medical care to patients. Nurse practitioners can treat common illnesses and injuries, write prescriptions, make referrals to specialists, and educate patients about health concerns. Nurses who complete nurse practitioner programs learn how to diagnose common illnesses, talk with patients about their conditions, develop treatment plans based on available interventions and patient preferences, and keep records of each patient's progress. They also provide counseling on diet and lifestyle changes that may improve overall well-being, oversee medical therapies prescribed by other types of healthcare providers, determine the best course of treatment for patients with chronic or acute health conditions, and make requests for diagnostic tests. The benefits of nurse practitioner programs to the profession, society, and career goals are discussed below:
Benefit 1: Access to More Career Opportunities
Nurses who graduate from nurse practitioner programs can go into private practice. Since the 1980s, nurse practitioners have gradually gained the right to operate as independent healthcare providers. This gave nurse practitioners a wider range of employment opportunities outside the healthcare system and opened the door for them to open their clinics or work as freelancers with a group or hospital.
Benefit 2: They Offer Cost-Effective Healthcare Solutions
Currently, the US federal government incurs billions of dollars in healthcare expenses annually. Nurse practitioner programs offer feasible solutions to the US healthcare system. Nurse practitioners serve as a cost-effective solution for small practices that cannot afford to hire physicians. Nurse practitioner programs prepare nurses to take on more responsibility within the medical office. For example, they may be asked to perform clinical tasks previously performed by physicians, which saves money and increases job satisfaction for nurse practitioners who want to feel challenged and valued at work.
Benefit 3: Improved Healthcare Access to Underserved Areas
Nurse practitioner programs increase access to healthcare. Nurse practitioners expand access to underserved populations who have inadequate access to care compared to well-served areas. Many nurse practitioners provide care in underserved areas, which gives patients access to treatment whenever they need it, regardless of where they live or their insurance status. Thus, nurses should enroll in nurse practitioner programs to improve the quality of healthcare in their communities.
Nurse practitioner programs offer numerous benefits to the US healthcare system and society. Nurse practitioners are valuable members of the healthcare team and perform important work on behalf of their patients and communities. Becoming a nurse practitioner is an excellent way for nurses to continue growing professionally while serving others.
For more information on a nurse practitioner program, contact a company near you.