Your All-Inclusive Guide to Continuing Postgraduate Nurse Practitioner Education
Nurse practitioners perform a critical and indispensable role in the healthcare system and have never been in greater demand. The path to finding a professionally and personally rewarding, and well-paying nurse practitioner role begins with acquiring the right education and credentials for your geographic area and expertise. Investing in postgraduate and continuing education involves a significant investment of time and financial resources, especially for busy working professionals with families and additional personal responsibilities, but the rewards can greatly outweigh the costs in terms of career advancement and job prospects.
Here are a few key factors to consider for postgraduate and continuing nurse practitioner (NP) education.
Educational Requirements for Nurse Practitioners
Every state and specialty have specific credential and licensing requirements that nurse practitioners must meet in order to practice. As far as standard educational requirements, the academic requirements and experience for nurse practitioners include:
- Master’s degree
- Post master’s certificate or PhD
- Clinical experience
- Already a registered nurse (RN) – which requires an associate or bachelor’s degree
- Pass state-specific board and licensing exams
How Much Does a Postgraduate Nurse Practitioner Education Cost?
Like advanced degrees in any field of study, pursuing postgraduate nurse practitioner coursework involves a financial investment and commitment which will at least partially take on the form of student debt for many students, depending on factors like the program, location/cost of living, area of specialty, and individual and family circumstances. The price tag for a master’s degree in nursing can range from $30,000 to $60,000, depending on the school and the program, but factors like tuition reimbursement from an employer, part-time and online programs can help to bring costs down in some cases.
Is a Nurse Practitioner Career Right for You?
While nurse practitioner positions require a graduate degree and ongoing postgraduate education, NPs enjoy higher salaries and more responsibility than an RN. Nurse practitioners can prescribe medication and direct patient treatment and care and can practice independently in many states (some states require that NPs work under the supervision of a physician). As with any career path, weighing the benefits of the job against the financial and time investments is a good place to start.
With projected job growth in the next decade predicted to be as high as 35 percent and average salaries in the $100,000/year range depending on the location and specialty, not to mention a broad range of practice areas to choose from, becoming a nurse practitioner is an excellent and rewarding career choice.
Find a Nurse Practitioner Job Today
There has never been a greater need or demand for highly skilled and experienced nurse practitioners. Contact one of our top nurse practitioner recruiters today for more career information and to learn about or job openings.