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Career Definition of an Endocrinology Nurse Practitioner
Endocrinology nurse practitioners specialize in diagnosing and treating disease and illness of the endocrine system. This includes diabetes, infertility, thyroid disorders, and other hormonal issues. An endocrinology nurse practitioner is specially trained in diagnosing disease related to a patient's glands, as well as in more broad nursing skills, such as patient care and communication. A nurse practitioner also has the ability to prescribe medication, much like a doctor or GP. This means an endocrinology nurse practitioner is able to record an official diagnosis, as well as prescribe treatment, without referring to a doctor. Typically, a nurse practitioner will be employed in a private practice, although some may work in hospitals or other clinics that may offer specialized services for hormonal illnesses and issues.
|Educational Requirements||Master's or doctoral degree|
|Job Skills||Attention to detail, diagnostic skills, knowledge of medications and treatment protocols, patient communication, in-depth understanding of the endocrine system and human biology|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$110,930 (Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners)|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)*||36% increase (Nurse Practitioners)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
An endocrinology nurse practitioner will start their education by earning an associate's or a bachelor's degree in nursing. To begin to specialize in the field of endocrinology, a nurse will be required to pass the NCLEX-RN exam which allows them to start working in the field, preferably within an endocrinology department or practice.
To become a nurse practitioner, a candidate will then be required to obtain at least a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, pass a certification exam, and then re-certify every five years. This recertification involves 1,000 hours of clinical practice and 75-150 hours of continuing education, depending on the certifying organization. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists offers ongoing training and certifications for those specializing in this field.
To work as a nurse practitioner an individual will need strong communication skills to accurately describe a diagnosis or treatment plan to a patient and other colleagues. Diagnosis itself requires high attention to detail, problem solving, and, of course, in-depth knowledge of the endocrine system and related diseases. Nurse practitioners will also need specific knowledge of treatment protocols and appropriate medications, which could require a strong working memory.
Career Outlook & Salary
The median salary for nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives in 2017 was $110,930 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The demand for nurse practitioners is expected to rise dramatically over the next decade. This is due in part to increasing demand for preventitive health services, and the hiring of nurse practitioners to supplement physicians as patient facing, decision making health professionals. The BLS expects employment of nurse practitioners to grow by 36% from 2016 to 2026.
Here are some links to information on related careers in the fields of nursing and endocrinology: