If you're working as a registered nurse and you've found that you love the role of patient care, you may be looking for a way to work more independently and expand your career. Becoming a nurse practitioner may be a great way to explore your career options and provide value to the people of Georgia.
Nurse practitioners are growing in demand and popularity, particularly as people around the country begin seeking health care providers for the first time. Nurse practitioners may have shorter wait times and more affordable rates, even though they provide many of the same services as doctors. In response to this demand, many schools are adding nurse practitioner programs to their rosters. The Ledger-Enquirer reports that a local Georgia school recently started an online program for aspiring nurse practitioners.
Many health care employers are turning to nurse practitioners to increase their staffing levels. Clayton County Public Schools recently opened a health care center that allows students to receive low-cost health care services while at school. This hiring surge is due in part to the doctor shortage in Georgia. Atlanta Magazine notes that the physician shortage is particularly severe in rural parts of Georgia.
Starting a career in this field may help you become a part of the local nursing community. The United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia supports NPs in many different ways.
To successfully become a nurse practitioner, you must meet several important admissions requirements. The vast majority of schools require a Bachelor's degree in nursing. The only exception are those schools with RN-to-MSN programs, and they tend to be less common than traditional MSN programs. You must also have quite a bit of nursing experience. Typically, at least one year of full-time work experience is required. Schools may require more at their discretion.
The curriculum for a nurse practitioner program typically lasts two to three years of full-time study; this often requires summer courses on top of traditionally-scheduled courses. By the time you graduate, you may complete over 30 credits. Lower-level courses at this degree level include Advanced Nursing Assessment, Perspectives of Advanced Nursing Practice, and Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology. Higher-level MSN courses may include Primary Care of Women, Primary Care of Children, and Applied Pharmacology. Most of these classes include either a lab component or a clinical experience component.
After you have been accepted to a nurse practitioner program in Georgia, you may begin the process of applying for scholarships and grants. Large organizations like the Georgia Nurses Association have a wide range of scholarships for graduate students. Archbold funds scholarships for its nursing personnel. Another local employer with scholarship opportunities is Columbus Regional Health which awards the Mary Ann Pease Scholarship, the Bunch McClellan Nursing Scholarship, and the Wilmot Bull Scholarship.
Just like when you work as a registered nurse, your career is governed by the Georgia Board of Nursing when you become a nurse practitioner. Once you have completed your MSN, you can apply for advanced standing by filling out a separate application. After the Board of Nursing verifies that you have met their expectations, you can begin working as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse in Georgia.
Though the job outlook for nurse practitioners is positive all over the country, it is particularly promising in Georgia. From 2012 to 2022, O*Net hopes to see a 54 percent increase in NP jobs. This job growth rate is 20 percent higher than the national average (O*Net, 2012). In this state, nurse practitioners claim a median salary of $87,900 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Nurse practitioners make a big difference in their communities and in their careers. Find out more about this opportunity now by contacting Georgia nurse practitioner schools.