So, you’ve considered becoming an advanced practice nurse (APN) prescriber?
Then, good for you for taking the first step in advancing your career and seeking professional growth opportunities.
Not everyone is as brave as you. Not everyone is bold enough to set a new career path for themselves.
But once you get past those limiting beliefs, you may find that becoming an APN prescriber can be rewarding.
Registered nurses who become APN prescribers can experience better job stability, gain leadership opportunities, and a sizeable paycheck to boot.
Now that we’ve established the advantages of becoming an APN prescriber, you might wonder about their roles and responsibilities in healthcare settings.
Keep scrolling and discover what you can do once you become an APN prescriber.
Become a Nurse Practitioner
A nursing practitioner is one of the types of APNs, and many NP as their primary care provider.
Nowadays, nurse practitioners are essential in providing primary, acute, and urgent care to diverse patients.
Becoming a nurse practitioner lets you deliver more personalized patient care since you will spend more direct one-on-one time with them.
In doing so, you can develop a thorough understanding of their medical requirements and build trust—two things that are crucial for enhancing patients’ general health.
The ability to adapt your career focus and direction is another benefit of being a nurse practitioner. In more than half of the states, nurse practitioners can practice independently and have more autonomy to work nationwide.
As if that’s not good enough, there is a national physician deficit and a rising demand for primary care.
That’s cool, but how do you become a nurse practitioner, then? Although there are no hard and fast rules, an excellent start is to ask yourself what you want to specialize in.
Nurse practitioners have a variety of specialization options. While they are distinct areas of focus, these specializations typically fall within the category of primary healthcare.
Some specialties nursing practitioners can specialize in include pediatrics, psychiatric mental health nursing, and family nursing.
Start a career as a Clinical Nurse Specialist
The demand for clinical nurse specialists is growing exponentially as the world deals with the risks and uncertainties brought by the pandemic.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, demand for APNs like clinical nurse specialists is expected to grow 31%.
Clinical nurse specialists are APNs that do more than help patients prevent or resolve illnesses.
Their scope of practice can include diagnosing and treating injuries, disabilities, and diseases within their expertise.
Moreover, clinical nurse specialists can also order tests, make diagnoses, conduct essential treatments, and in some states, prescribe medications.
They can also provide expertise and support to a team of nurses by creating practice changes within an organization and plans that ensure everyone uses best practices in providing care.
Unlike other nurses, clinical nurse specialists are trained to identify shortcomings and gaps in healthcare.
Depending on their current working environment, they might provide consultation services, track patient care, communicate with patients and their families, create and apply interventions, and assess the general delivery of care.
They can also contribute to research on reducing the length of hospital stays and costs and improving pain management practices and overall patient satisfaction.
Of course, the role of clinical specialist nurses can vary depending on their expertise, but daily tasks can include the following.
- Optimize the care of patients by working together with the nursing staff. This includes assessing existing practices, evaluating alternatives, checking in with patient care managers, and educating staff.
- Establish personalized and specialized treatment plans after patient evaluations
- Helping patients and families learn how to manage their conditions best.
- Analyze patient information and outcomes
- Join colleagues in new research and incorporate practices to promote staff teamwork
Like nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists can work in various settings because they are trained as experts in the nursing field.
Specialties in women’s health can land you in a clinic or hospital maternity ward, whereas a geriatric nursing specialty might land you in a long-term or home care facility.
Work as a Nurse Anesthetists
Because of the additional training and educational qualifications to become an APN, these healthcare workers often have the opportunity to work in a clinical patient care setting with a high degree of responsibility.
This includes being a nurse anesthetist. Nurse anesthetists often work in the surgical operating room, providing patient care during surgery.
Their duties can often vary but usually includes the following:
- Administering medication to reduce or prevent pain during surgery.
- Monitoring vital signs during a surgical operation.
- Evaluating patients for any allergies that may interact with the anesthesia.
Nurse anesthetists often work in many healthcare environments, including U.S. military facilities, outpatient care centers, medical and surgical hospitals, and private clinics.
You will usually collaborate with physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare professionals. As a nurse anesthetist, you will be responsible for doing the following.
- Provide effective patient care before, during, and after surgery
- Participate in therapeutic and diagnostic procedures
- Deliver critical care and trauma stabilization interventions
- Diagnose and deliver acute and chronic pain management
Along with these duties, nurse anesthetists take on administrative tasks such as managing department finances, training new staff, and ordering anesthesia.
Practice as a Nurse Midwife
Becoming a certified nurse midwife is another thing you can do as an APN prescriber.
As a nurse midwife, you will provide prenatal care for expecting mothers throughout pregnancy and delivering babies.
They also provide primary care, such as writing prescriptions, offering basic nutrition counseling, and conducting annual examinations.
Other than that, a certified nurse midwife is also expected to perform the following duties and responsibilities.
- Diagnose and treat patients
- Provide references to specialists
- Train patients to deal with complications that may occur during labor and delivery
- Assists in cesarean sections
Since nurse midwives deal with sensitive work, they must stay calm under pressure, adapt to changing medical technology, and create good patient relationships.
Like the roles mentioned above, nurse midwives can work in different healthcare settings and conditions, such as military hospitals, birthing clinics, and even academic institutions.
How do you become an APN Prescriber?
By now, you are ready to take the plunge into your journey of becoming an APN prescriber but do not know where to start.
At a minimum, you will need to complete an advanced nursing degree. But how do you earn an advanced nursing degree?
Well, there are multiple options. You can choose between the classic on-campus experience and the more affordable but equally reputable online learning alternative.
The advantage of earning your advanced degree online is that it is flexible and can fit working people’s schedules.
For example, suppose you are a nurse but have always wanted to advance your healthcare career. You can enroll in a DNP-FNP program at an academic institution such as Walsh University.
But we understand why you are having reservations regarding the degree’s legitimacy. After all, nurses and even those currently entering the industry earned their degrees in a traditional classroom setting.
Do healthcare organizations even respect online nursing degree programs? Surprisingly, they are. According to a CNN report, 61% believe online learning is equal to or more excellent than traditional methods.
This is because earning a nursing degree online allows for more focused learning. There is no getting around the fact that nursing is complex. But perhaps one thing that makes it more challenging is the science that underpins nursing.
Nurses encounter real-life issues daily. To be effective, they need to be geared with the knowledge to make informed decisions about existing problems.
Through online nursing degree programs, nurses can gain complete control of their education and allow for more focused learning.
In traditional settings, though, the situation is quite different. You have no control over your learning when you’re in a classroom. Even if it has nothing to do with your major, you have to find time to study unrelated subjects.
Ever found yourself studying mathematics and asking how it relates to your nursing profession? Fortunately, this won’t happen with online courses.
Moreover, you can get through the course material more quickly and earn your degree if you choose what you want to learn.
Additionally, it helps you focus and contribute questions and thoughts, increasing your confidence to learn even more.
Now you might ask what an advanced degree looks like.
Depending on your chosen academic institution, an advanced degree program such as the Doctor of Nursing Practice-Family Nurse Practitioner will expose you to more study fields.
This can involve studying advanced pathophysiology, clinical pharmacology, and healthcare finance.
You can complete an advanced nursing degree program in as little as three years. They are often designed in eight or 16-week courses to accommodate working professionals.