Is This an Appropriate Career for Me?
Nurse practitioners diagnose, treat, and counsel patients in a variety of medical settings. In this occupation, you could be a primary care provider, provide acute healthcare services, or specialize in a certain medical area. It is a quickly growing field with great employment opportunities during the next decade. Answer these questions to determine if it is the right career for you:
|Is science one of your favorite subjects?||Yes or No|
|Do you have strong interpersonal skills?||Yes or No|
|Do you consider yourself compassionate?||Yes or No|
|Are you a leader?||Yes or No|
|Are you a critical thinker?||Yes or No|
|Do you manage stress well?||Yes or No|
|Do you have physical endurance?||Yes or No|
|Are you a skilled writer?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy learning?||Yes or No|
|Are you a good teacher?||Yes or No|
Why Are These Questions Relevant?
Is science one of your favorite subjects?
The coursework of both undergraduate nursing and graduate-level nurse practitioner degree programs emphasizes sciences such as anatomy and pharmacology.
Do you have strong interpersonal skills?
Nurse practitioners spend most of their time with patients, staff and other medical professionals. To succeed in this career, you should enjoy being around other people and have strong communication skills.
Do you consider yourself compassionate?
As a nurse practitioner, you will work with patients who may be worried about their condition or in pain. You will need to be sympathetic to their conditions, patient with their concerns and compassionate about their feelings.
Are you a leader?
Nurse practitioners often supervise nurses, medical assistants and other subordinate staff.
Are you a critical thinker?
To determine the right course of care, nurse practitioners need to critically analyze a patient's description of symptoms, physically evident signs, medical test results, and possible treatment options.
Do you manage stress well?
Nurse practitioners may work long hours during which they face medical emergencies, the treatment of multiple patients, and sometimes the death of those under their care. You will need a high stress tolerance level.
Do you have physical endurance?
As a nurse practitioner, you will spend long periods on your feet and must have the physical strength and endurance to be able to bend, lift, and stoop while examining and treating patients.
Are you a skilled writer?
Composing patient histories, providing at-home care instructions and making written referrals to doctors and other healthcare providers are among a nurse practitioner's responsibilities. You should have strong writing skills and a clear, concise writing style.
Do you enjoy learning?
To become a nurse practitioner, you'll first need to study to become a registered nurse. You will then need to complete a master's degree; a number of nurse practitioners also elect to get a Doctor of Nursing Practice or a Ph.D. degree. Once you begin practicing, you will need to make a career-long commitment to continuing education and professional development in order to remain informed on advancements in medicine and healthcare.
Are you a good teacher?
Because nurse practitioners emphasize disease prevention and the promotion of healthy lifestyles, you should be comfortable counseling and educating patients regarding how they may better care for themselves.
How Do I Get Started?
If you answered yes to a majority of these questions, you are ready to take the next steps toward a career as a nurse practitioner! You will likely need a bachelor's degree in nursing to apply for a master's or doctorate program, although a few universities offer alternative programs for those with either an associate's degree in nursing or a bachelor's degree in a different field. Depending on where you live, you may need to be certified and licensed in order to work as a nurse practitioner; you should check with the nursing board in your state to determine requirements.