Because of the shortage of medical professionals, family practitioners are filling rolls from health administration to PRIMARY CARE. If you are certified as a nurse practitioner where can you work, besides a hospital, and who will be your patients? 

What is a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with additional advanced education. They can serve as a patient’s primary care health services provider. Many of the professional duties are similar to what a doctor does. That is, they can diagnose, treat and prescribe medications. They also can do minor surgical operations such as suturing, and cast broken bones. “Nurse Credentials. Org” says certification as a nurse practitioner is a PRIMARY CARE certificate, but there are several career paths open to students and, within those paths, many specialties. Even though you may be certified as a family nurse practitioner, you are not limited to that category. A few of the possibilities follow.

Family Nurse Practitioners can Work in Acute Care Facilities

These are special clinics intended to handle emergent cases where patients usually leave the facility on the same day as they are treated. This is an especially valuable component of an urban health care system in which hospital emergency rooms may be backed up because of high volume. Obviously, as a nurse practitioner in an acute care facility you would treat all age groups, but you could specialize in pediatrics or in eldercare, and be the “go-to” provider for that demography.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners who gain PRIMARY CARE certification with a specialty in psychiatric nursing might work in a mental health facility as a healthy care provider or as a counselor. They could also provide counseling independently through private practice. This specialty would enable nurse practitioners to work as counselors in school settings as well. A secondary degree in education would be an asset to those wishing to work in the educational field. Working in a facility, your patients will be the population of the institution, whether juvenile or adult, male or female. In school settings you would work with juveniles and young adults.

Correctional Facilities, Businesses and Rehab Centers

What do these places have in common? They all use nurse practitioners to provide healthcare to the people they serve. Correctional facilities usually manage health care within the containment of the facility unless they have to transport prisoners for more serious conditions. Many large corporations have in-house health care facilities where employees can be treated for minor or job-related conditions. Rehab facilities offer another type of management, that of working with chronic debilities.

Career Paths Outside Patient Care

Even with a family nurse practitioner certification, you can pursue careers outside the clinical realm. The field of health informatics, or creating, managing and sharing electronic medical records, is a career in high demand. While base pay for most nurse practitioners averages around $90,000, professionals in informatics earn about $10,000 more, according to “Health Informatics” Nurse practitioners may also pursue careers in healthcare administration and in government developing strategies for healthcare delivery.

Nurse practitioners are increasingly important in the modern healthcare system. Opportunities within the field encompass many work arenas and service demographics. Nurse practitioners with specialties within their certification have even greater possibilities. Family nurse practitioners are not limited to PRIMARY CARE.