What is the Difference Between a Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner
What do registered nurses do?
The responsibilities of registered nurses will vary, but keeping records, giving medication and monitoring patients are some of the primary functions. Some core competencies required are as follows:
• Care of patients
• Experience in a clinical setting
• Planning of treatment
• Acute care
• ACLS (advanced cardiac life support)
Registered nurses don’t just work in hospitals; they can work in a variety of settings such as clinics and hospitals. Hospitals can be an unpredictable working environment for a nurse, and as a result, they can be more stressful. At the start of your shift you will receive a report from the nurse you are taking over from, and at the end of the shift, you will give a report to the nurse you are handing over to.
In a clinic, a registered nurse will arrive before the doctor and be responsible for setting up the clinic. Clinic nurses will follow up with tests such as X-rays and arrange meetings with specialists as required. As it is a more relaxed setting, there is a great opportunity for more informal learning than in a hospital.
How long does it take to be a registered nurse?
A registered nurse (or RN) must have an Associated Degree in Nursing (ADN). An ADN takes two years to complete. But it is now suggested widely that pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in the first instance, rather than obtaining this later on.
A BSN is a four-year long course and to attain both an ADN and BSN you must have completed the NCLEX. The NCLEX is the National Council Licensure Examination; this is a national test which you have to pass to practise as a nurse in the US.
An ADN typically costs less, and you will also become a nurse more quickly, but a BSN will allow you more opportunities obtain a higher position in nursing. It may come down to thinking how much time you have to qualify and what your plans for the future are.
If you choose to follow the path of an AND it will take you two years. If you choose to follow the path of a BSN it will take your four years to complete.
How long does it take to be a nurse practitioner?
The next step up from a registered nurse is to train to become a nurse practitioner (NP). To do this, you require a Master of Science in Nursing degree (MSN). An MSN takes two years to complete, in addition to this, you may need to complete a minimum number of years in a hospital setting to gain clinical experience. You will also need to complete your NCLEX-RN which is the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. If you take the route where you complete a BSN and an MSN, this will be a total of 6 years training.
After this, you may choose to earn a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) or a DNP (Doctor in Nursing Practise). The average time to complete a Ph.D. is around five years. The DNP can take anywhere from 3 to 5 years to complete. While you may receive the same care from the two, there is a difference between a nurse practitioner and doctor. Doctors undergo more training and study diseases in greater depth. Doctors also often specialize in one area, where as a nurse practitioner will focus on more general care.
Accelerated nurse practitioner program
It is possible to be accepted into an accelerated nurse practitioner program. The requirements to be accepted into an accelerated nurse practitioner program may differ slightly from school to school. Some of the most usual requirements in addition to you being a registered nurse are:
• An associate’s degree in nursing
• A non-nursing bachelor’s degree
• Letters of recommendation (usually 3)
• A personal statement including your goals and your reason for becoming a nurse practitioner
• You may also need to have a specific grade point average to be considered
The average hourly wage for a registered nurse is around $28, but the hourly rate can differ hugely depending on the area and organization. The salary for a registered nurse, therefore, ranges hugely, between around $40,000 and $85,000 a year.
The average pay for a nurse practitioner is around $91,000 a year. The nurse practitioner starting salary is much higher than a registered nurse. This is as a result of the higher level of education attained and the additional responsibility.