“The extended course such as prescribing is challenging but it’s worth it. It opens a world of opportunities.”
Ameena, Nurse Practitioner
Becoming a Nurse can lead to many opportunities with experience and study. One of the senior positions that a career in Nursing can lead to is becoming a Nurse Practitioner. Whilst Nurses carry out care plans that have been assigned to individuals, Nurse Practitioners are able to examine patients and decide on treatments and care plans independently. The main difference being that they are able to diagnose and often prescribe treatment, from minor illnesses to chronic diseases.
With further study, Nurse Practitioners are able to specialise in areas such as Psychiatry, Paediatrics or Oncology to name a few. Generally, you’ll find them doing the following:
- Performing diagnosis on patient’s symptoms and preparing evidence for care plans
- Discussing cases with health professionals to formulate care plans and prognosis
- Treating and managing the health care needs of patients accordingly
- Referring patients to peers for specialised advice and treatment
- Prescribing specific treatments and giving general advice on maintaining good health
- Keeping up with new developments and changes in practices
Key Skills & Characteristics
A Nurse Practitioner should:
- Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Have the ability to put people at ease and inspire trust
- Be caring whilst showing empathy and respectfulness
- Be thorough, possessing the ability to work safely
- Have strong organisational and time management skills
Becoming a Nurse Practitioner is an advancement of being a Nurse. Therefore, studying a degree in Nursing whilst being registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is your foundation.
Continual work experience and professional development in your related field of practice will lead you to become a Nurse Practitioner. Qualifications in independent prescribing and teaching and assessing in clinical practice, may be necessary.
What's absolutely essential is undertaking a Masters degree in an area you wish to specialise in. Any more qualifications you ask? No, but in any profession continual professional development is needed to stay relevant. Constant learning helped Ameena get to the position she is in today.
Advice From Our Experts
“Decide on the area of expertise you want to branch in and stay focused. The extended course such as prescribing is challenging but it's worth it. It opens up a world of opportunities.”
- Ameena, Nurse Practitioner, on developing your Nursing career.
- Rewarding – It’s a great feeling knowing that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life
- Building Relationships – Meeting new people and establishing relationships with clients
- Variety – No two days are the same
- Responsibility – High responsibility and pressure. Making an error can be disastrous
- Long Hours – Often involves long working hours
- Emotional – It’s quite an emotional career at times, witnessing people that you’ve become attached to, unwell