Nurse Practitioners Options and Specialties
As a nurse practitioner, you fall into a specialized nursing category, known as the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Professionals in this category hold advanced degrees, usually a master’s or even a doctorate in the nursing field.
In contrast to earning your ASN, which takes up to 24 months, earning a doctorate in nursing can take up to nine years, with three years being the minimum.
A nurse practitioner is a specialized nurse who has earned their advanced (master’s or doctorate) nursing degree. If you plan to become an NP, you will be a licensed healthcare provider. In this profession, you must hold a license from your state to practice nursing in your chosen specialization.
You will work in a stressful, fast-paced environment, often in hospital settings. You may spend time working in an urgent care center to provide care to emergency patients. You will have to express compassion and empathy to your patients, as they are hurting, feeling ill, and likely to be scared.
Nursing Degrees & Career Paths
Pediatric Nurse Specialists
Pediatric nurse specialists, as their title suggests, are specialists in delivering health care to their pediatric patients. The age range of the child receiving care goes from two up to their 18th birthday. In their work, these nurses may receive supervision from a pediatric physician, however, this is not mandatory.
If you work in a doctor’s private practice, you may be providing primary healthcare to your pediatric patients. Working in this specialty, you may work in an emergency room, surgical theater, general hospital, pediatric oncology unit, neonatal unit, pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), or a pediatric oncology unit.
Neonatal Nurse Specialists
As a neonatal nurse specialist, you work with the sickest and smallest infants in the hospital. These infants may be very premature, or they may have a health condition that requires specialized treatment. Your degree will be at least at the master’s level and your professional focus is on the management and care of premature and full-term infants who are either critically ill or convalescent.
In your daily job, you will work side-by-side with neonatologists (medical doctors who specialize in working with this population). You should expect to work in one of several acute and non-acute settings.