Medical professionals that have earned their Doctors of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) are highly trained nurse practitioners (NPs) who can perform some of the same tasks as a physician. They can prescribe medications, administer exams, treat illnesses, and work in a wide array of healthcare facilities depending on the laws within the state of their practice. Let’s take a look at some of the places you can find NPs:
NP Central explains what nurse practitioners do, and the information makes it clear that NPs are a perfect fit for hospitals. Nurse practitioners in hospitals may work in the emergency room, the maternity ward, critical care, or any other area depending on their specialization. They often take time to listen to patients to provide a holistic approach of patient care even when doctors are too busy to really delve into a patient’s overall medical needs.
2. Private Doctors’ Offices
Health Beat Blog reports that some NPs own and operate their own clinics. They provide comprehensive care and often provide guidance for the improvement and care of a patient’s overall health. They may have the same responsibilities if they work in a doctor’s office instead of owning their own practice. A doctor with a heavy patient load can rely on a nurse practitioner to give personal attention to patients that a doctor may not have the time to provide.
3. Community Clinics
Community clinics help people from a variety of backgrounds: limited incomes, homeless, etc. Within a clinic, a NP can develop a better understanding of the needs of a community as a whole, as well as the medical concerns of individuals. Utilizing this knowledge, they can help ensure everyone receives high-quality care at a clinic. Additionally, nurse practitioners can take initiative at community clinics and offer to teach classes on subjects such as food safety, diabetes management, and pregnancy.
4. Nursing Homes
Long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, often rely on nurse practitioners. Patients in these facilities usually have chronic conditions, and they appreciate the one-on-one attention that NPs can provide. Some NPs specialize in geriatric care, and when complex issues arise, they are prepared to treat the patient. (If the state they practice in limits their care responsibilities, they would alert the facility’s doctors.)
5. Health Departments
Community health departments provide a unique opportunity for nurse practitioners who want to make an impact on public health. NPs who work at health departments can educate patients and get a firsthand look at how the government handles public health concerns. This can empower them to advocate positive changes within their communities and healthcare.
6. Schools and College Clinics
Complex medical issues that require specialized care are relatively rare among young people, so NPs are often the perfect choice for schools that want a medical professional on-site. NPs have more education and clinical hours than an RN. With the focus on the holistic approach of care, they can coach students on how to make healthy choices. In some schools, nurse practitioners may visit classrooms and help students understand various topics like the importance of exercise, eating healthy, or how to have safe sex.
7. Home Health Care Agencies
The training that NPs receive from programs, like the ones offered by Maryville University, is more than what most in-home caregivers require, but having a DNP or a MSN at an agency ensures that caregivers always have a resource to go to when medical questions arise. Furthermore, if an in-home patient requires intensive or specialty care, an NP can step in to provide it, which may eliminate the need to take a patient to a doctor’s office.
Skilled, caring Nurse Practitioners can work in almost any medical setting. If you’re considering a career as an NP, there has never been a better time to pursue your degree and advance your nursing career.