Nurse practitioners are an essential part of medical teams across the state of California. As a nurse practitioner, you may work alongside medical doctors, registered nurses, physician's assistants, and other medical personnel to treat and diagnose patients. If you're considering a career as a nurse practitioner, learn more about your options for NP programs in California by contacting schools today.
One of the biggest advantages of becoming a nurse practitioner is the promising job outlook. The State of California Employment Development Department lists nurse practitioners on its list of Occupations in Demand.
Nurse practitioners may be an important part of California health care as millions of the state's citizens get health care for the first time. Rev Cycle Intelligence notes that nurses across California are striving to provide patients with better care and service by increasing the amount of nurse practitioners and the pay they receive. This is especially important in an emergency care setting, as the Daily Press reports that California hospitals are extremely overcrowded, leading to a great need for skilled personnel.
Research indicates that nurse practitioners have positive outcomes for their patients. MedPage Today notes that ICU patients under a nurse practitioner's care have similar outcomes to patients that are seen by medical doctors. Modern Medicine Network reports that the doctor shortage has hit California particularly hard, a problem that nurse practitioners can help solve.
You may want to check out admissions requirements for nurse practitioner programs so you can prepare for this educational endeavor well in advance. You do need a Bachelor's degree in nursing. The only exception to this rule is the RN-to-MSN program, which is offered at select California schools. In addition, you may need quite a bit of nursing experience. Typically, MSN programs in California prefer that you have one to three years of full-time experience as a nurse.
As an NP student, you may choose to focus on family care, gerontology, pediatric nurse practitioner, or adult care. However, many of the class requirements are the same amongst different specialties. Courses you may take in this degree program include Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Pathophysiology, Evidence-Based Practice in Advanced Nursing, Essentials of Pharmacology, and Global Health.
Practical experience is a major part of the 30-40 credit curriculum of your nurse practitioner program. Over the two to three years you spend in school, you may spend over 600 hours in a clinical setting with patients. This experience can assist you in developing your patient communication skills, your direct care nursing knowledge and give you experience with advanced nursing procedures.
As part of your school application process, you may want to look into scholarships, grants, and special loan programs. The California Nursing Students' Association funds numerous scholarships for California nursing students. You may also wish to apply for scholarships through the American Nurse Practitioner Foundation.
To become a nurse practitioner in California, you must go through the California Board of Registered Nursing. First, you need a valid RN license. Once you furnish proof of your MSN and your clinical hours, you can apply for your nurse practitioner license. You must also pass an exam that tests your advanced nursing knowledge in regards to the main population you plan on serving.
The job outlook is quite positive for California nurse practitioners. From 2012 to 2022, O*Net anticipates a 28 percent increase in job openings for nurse practitioners. Their salary data indicates that the average salary for a California nurse practitioner is $109,500 per year, well over $15,000 higher than the national average (O*Net, 2013).
Nursing is a diverse field, and becoming a nurse practitioner may allow you to make the most of your education and skills. Contact nurse practitioner programs in California today to take the first step.