How to become a Nurse Practitioner


RN to Nurse Practitioner

As a registered nurse, you can either start working at your current qualification level, or decide to pursue a higher level of education to become a nurse practitioner. The positions are quite different. Practitioners have a greater amount of responsibility. As the name implies, nurse practitioners can practice medicine much like a doctor. They can diagnose, treat, and prescribe curative drugs to patients and also set up their own clinics. Unfortunately this is still a dream come true in India

Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners (NP) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) who are educated and trained to provide health promotion and maintenance through the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions. In other words NPs are advanced practice registered nurses who provides health care services similar to those of a physician.

Nurse Practitioner Specialties:   

  •  Family Nurse Practitioner
  •  Adult Nurse Practitioner
  •  Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  •  Gerontological or Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
  •  Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  •  Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  •  Acute Care Adult Nurse Practitioner
  •  Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  •  Adult Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  •  Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  •  Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  •  Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Nurse Midwives 
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

Nurse practitioner’s role / Job Descriptions for Nurse Practitioners

  • Medical diagnosis, treatment, evaluation, and management of acute and chronic diseases
  • Obtaining patient histories and conducting physical examinations
  • Ordering and performing diagnostic studies 
  • Requesting physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other rehabilitation treatments
  • Prescribing drugs for acute and chronic illness 
  • Providing prenatal care and family planning services
  • Providing well-child care, including screening and immunizations
  • Providing primary and specialty care services
  • Providing care for patients in acute and critical care settings and long care facilities
  • Performing or assisting in minor surgeries and procedures 
  • Counseling and educating patients on health behaviors, self-care skills, and treatment options.

Scope of practice for Nurse Practitioners

United States
In the United States, because the profession is state-regulated, care provided by NPs varies and is limited to their education and credentials. Some NPs seek to work independently of physicians, while in some states a collaborative agreement with a physician is required for practice.

Nurse Practitioner requirements

  • Masters in Nursing
  • Doctorate in Nursing
  • Applicants must be a licensed registered nurses.

In the United State Of America, NPs must obtain a license from the state in which they work. Requirements differ by state but may include completing a state approved nurse practitioner program or obtaining certification from a nationally recognized certifying organization. After achieving board certification, the nurse practitioners must apply for additional credentials (e.g., APRN license) at the state and federal level. An advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) is a nurse with post-graduate education in nursing. 

Nurse Practitioner Certification

The following organizations award board certification in nursing. 

  • National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • National Certification Corporation
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
  • Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation


The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American College of Nurse Practitioners came together to form  the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP),  the largest full-service national professional membership organization for NPs of all specialties.

In Australia, NPs are required to be registered by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.The Australian College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP) is the national peak organisation for Nurse Practitioners.
ANPA- Australian nurse practitioners association
To apply to become a nurse practitioner in Australia, individuals must first have completed a program of study accredited by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) and approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). 
Other countries
There are nurse practitioners in over fifty countries world wide. Although credentials vary by country, most NPs hold at least a master’s degree worldwide.

Salary of Nurse Practitioner

The salary of a nurse practitioner depends on the area of specialization, location, years of experience, level of education, and size of company. Currently, the annual average earning for a nurse practitioner in the U.S. is $106,255.

Jobs for Nurse Practitioner

Employment of registered nurses and nurse practitioners is expected to increase immensely in the next ten years. Much of the growth came from a result of increase in technology, resulting in better health care and a greater variety of solutions for health problems. Also, life expectancy is getting longer; therefore more patients are living longer and living more active lives.