Nursing

Salary
The average annual salary for nurse practitioners was $83,646 in 2009.

Educational programs
Diploma
Med Vance Institute
Med Vance Institute - Palm Springs Campus
Rasmussen College

Certificate
University of South Florida

Master's Degree
Barry University
Florida A & M University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida International University
Florida State University
Jacksonville University
University of Central Florida
University of Florida
University of Miami
University of North Florida
University of South Florida
University of Tampa

Doctor of Philosophy
Barry University
University of Florida
University of Miami

Professional Associations
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
American Nurses Association
National League for Nursing

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has advanced education and clinical training at the master's level in a health care specialty area.

Nurse practitioners often serve as the primary health care provider for people during health and illness. They obtain health histories, perform physical examinations, monitor patients with chronic diseases, order and interpret lab tests and x-rays as needed, and provide health maintenance, health education and prevention for children and adults. Nurse practitioners also provide prenatal care and family planning. They recommend medications and areas of treatment, and in many states they are allowed to prescribe medications.

Nurse practitioners collaborate with physicians and other health professionals to achieve complete health care for the patient. While they refer patients to physicians when indicated, nurse practitioners also may practice independently through a written protocol or document established with their collaborative physician.

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are also educators, researchers, case managers, and patient advocates.

Areas of Specialization
Through advanced education and clinical experience, nurses may specialize in a number of areas including: adult health, family health, geriatric/elder health, pediatrics/child health, psychiatric/mental health, school/college health, women and newborn infants' health, nurse midwifery, and anesthesiology.

Work Environment
Nurse practitioners work in rural and urban settings such as public health departments, community health centers, hospitals, physicians' offices, nursing homes, HMOs, student health clinics, and home health agencies. Where state law permits, nurse practitioners may establish their own offices for independent practice. Work hours for these professionals often exceed the usual eight-hour day as they are the primary provider of patient care and may be required to be on call to manage patient problems.

Job Outlook
The number of health diagnosing and treating practitioners employed in Florida in 2004 was 7,049. It is projected that in 2012 there will be 8,343. This represents an annual average growth rate of 2.2 percent, faster than the 1.9 percent growth rate for all occupations in Florida.

Length of Training/Requirements
Nurse practitioner programs usually require two years of advanced study (part-time) beyond the basic degree. Registered nurses who plan to become nurse practitioners are advised to have 3-5 years clinical experience before continuing their education.

Licensure/Certification
There is no state examination required for nurse practitioner status in Florida, but applicants for Florida state certification must have a current license to practice professional nursing (RN) and meet one or more or the following: 1) satisfactory completion of a formal post-basic educational program of at least one academic year, 2) certification by an appropriate specialty board, or 3) graduation from a program leading to a master's degree in a nursing clinical specialty area with preparation in specialized practitioner skills. The American Nurses Credentialing Center of the American Nurses Association and other professional organizations certify registered nurses with master's degrees based on predetermined standards, including passing a written examination and practice time in a specified area. This voluntary national certification provides tangible recognition of professional achievement in a defined functional or clinical area of nursing.



Updated: 2009