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What is the Difference Between a Nurse Practitioner and a Registered Nurse?

There are various specialties in nursing careers. Students should try to understand what all nursing specialties involve before choosing a career path. One of the benefits of learning about the various nursing specialties available in an institution will help students make better career choices that influence their job performance. Most students choose careers they feel most passionate about, thus eliminating the possibility of experiencing burnout in the future.

If you are a nursing student, you appreciate the significance of being a registered nurse as you learn how to become a nurse practitioner NP in your professional development. However, the two nursing specialties involve different things that you should know before beginning your nursing career.

What does a nurse practitioner do?

The job duties of a nurse practitioner resemble those of a physician. A nurse practitioner is the first person patients see when they enter a medical facility. This nursing specialty involves performing diagnostic tests to confirm a patient’s condition before developing treatment plans to restore wellness.

One of the most common patients nurse practitioners assist are those with chronic conditions. Nurse practitioners provide monitoring to ensure a patient’s condition is under control and confirm treatment efficacy.

Other duties nurse practitioners deal with include:

  • Being in charge of other nurses in the institution
  • Prescribing medicines to patients.
  • Educating patients and their loved ones on complex treatment plans
  • Data collection through taking samples and discussing with patients about their symptoms.
  • Analyzing test results to understand patients’ conditions.

What does a registered nurse do?

A registered nurse is a primary caregiver. The nurses under this specialty directly bunter act with patients to ensure that they are receiving adequate care. Registered nurses perform the following functions:

  • Following instructions from physicians or nurse practitioners.
  • Administer IV infusion
  • Conduct admission assessments.
  • Advocate for patient rights

What are the similarities between nurse practitioners and registered nurses?

Nurse practitioners and registered nurses agree on ensuring patients receive the care they need to increase life expectancy. For this reason, nurse practitioners and registered nurses collaborate to provide optimal medical care—another role of both specialties in policymaking. Nurse practitioners and registered nurses directly contact patients and therefore understand what they need. These nurses should participate in crucial decision-making processes that influence policy implementation to ensure patients, nurses, and other staff members’ voices’ have a representation.

Nurse practitioners and registered nurses are versatile specialties that encourage specialization in diverse environments. For this reason, there are different types of registered nurses and nurse practitioners. Therefore, you do not have to limit yourself to working in one area but can switch to a separate area of expertise to see your experience and earnings increase.

What are the differences between nurse practitioners and registered nurses?

Nurse practitioners occupy a higher leadership position than registered nurses. For this reason, nurse practitioners receive higher salaries -This is because registered nurses need an advanced degree to become nurse practitioners. However, the higher wage also comes with more responsibility and autonomy for nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners’ freedom is why nurses in this specialty can start their practice.

It is a must that all registered nurses receive licensing and certification from the state they live or practice. Some of the basic requirements for accreditation include an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a background check, and an NCLEX exam passing grade. Burse practitioners have the same certification requirements. However, these nurses receive their licenses from the American License Credentialing Center. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners is another organization that provides certification to nursing practitioners.

A student is ready to make a sound decision after understanding the similarities and differences between nurse practitioners and registered nurses. You should carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of each nursing specialty before choosing the right career path for you. It might be tempting to select nurse practitioners as your career choice due to the high salary. However, consider the significant responsibility and autonomy that may cause burnout, especially if you do not work well under pressure. Although registered nurses are less stressful due to less accountability, you might want to advance your career if you want to achieve more as a nursing practitioner. 

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