5 TYPES OF NURSE PRACTITIONERS AND THEIR ROLES IN HEALTHCARE

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Medical experts estimate that the health care systems of many countries will soon be facing a shortage of experienced health care professionals. As the elderly population ages, they will require a higher level of medical intervention for prolonged health concerns. As a result, there will be too many patients with fewer doctors to provide medical care. Physician shortages might mean that nurse practitioners will have to step in to fulfill the increasing demand for primary health care.

Nurse practitioners (NP) are nurses who have received advanced training and certifications that qualify them to have more authority to diagnose patients, provide disease prevention, suggest timely treatment, and encourage health promotion. They typically hold more expertise and practice abilities than registered nurses (RNs). NP is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the health care industry today because of its high demand. Moreover, the job is high-paying and provides a higher level of job security than a typical nursing assistant. If you are a nurse who enjoys learning and seeks to improve patients’ lives, becoming a nurse practitioner can be a highly rewarding career choice. Nurses can choose from a variety of nursing specialties that helps them direct their efforts and care to a specific patient population. The following are a few categories of nurse practitioners specialties:

  • Become an adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

If you don’t hesitate in managing chronic health diseases and aspire to influence your community’s health positively, you can work as an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP). AGACNPs offer advanced medical care to the elderly with acute, prolonged, or critical conditions. They work in various healthcare settings such as hospitals and outpatient clinics, where they offer preventive care and acute care management services. AGACNPs often have to work in collaboration with other health care professionals, usually in emergency rooms and intensive care units, to stabilize and improve patients’ health. They also work in outpatient clinics and long-term care facilities like nursing homes. The main emphasis is on delivering preventive care and advising patients on lifestyle choices.

  • Decide to Work as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

A pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) focuses on providing specialized care to babies, children, and young adults. Those who are enthusiastic about working with children and educating their caretakers can decide to take on the role of a pediatric nurse practitioner. PNPs often have to check patients individually and focus on offering care services like continuous check-ups and vaccinations, diagnosing illnesses, and developing treatment plans. After PNPs have thoroughly evaluated their patients, they can order lab work to diagnose acute conditions. They also deliver health education to parents and caregivers on adequate nutrition and developmental milestones. Nurses who take on this role often work as part of a pediatric acute care team in large hospitals and clinics. 

  • Choose the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Role

A women health nurse practitioner (WHNP) is an educated and qualified nurse who focuses on the comprehensive care of women throughout their life. A WHNP is an expert in obstetrics and gynecology and provides services like well-woman care, pregnancy care, and contraceptive counseling. They also regularly offer wellness visits and perform procedures concerning women’s health,  recommend birth control, and prescribe other medications. WHNPs work in several work environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, women’s prisons, and women’s health clinics. WHNP’s should possess advanced communication and decision-making skills and have a cultural awareness of women’s health issues.

  • Become a Family Nurse Practitioner 

Family nurse practitioners (FNP) are nurse practitioners interested in providing family-focused health care services to individuals and families of all ages ranging from children to adults. This career choice can be highly satisfying for those who plan on developing long-term relationships with patients throughout their lifetime. FNPs often have to perform physical examinations, order diagnostic lab tests, and develop treatment plans. FNPs also enable patients and their families to learn self-care techniques by teaching them how to manage their conditions, care for their injuries and adopt healthier lifestyle choices.

  • Choose the Role of a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

If you are interested in mental health and emotional issues, becoming a psychiatric mental health practitioner can be a good career choice. Their job is to assess and diagnose patients experiencing mental illnesses, psychiatric disorders, and substance abuse problems. They have the experience of treating various mental disorders like anxiety, eating disorders, and dementia. They often work in private practice firms but can also work in multiple settings such as schools, mental health centers, and correctional facilities. They develop care plans for patients, including psychotherapy, prescribe medication, educate people on coping with various mental disorders, and manage their treatment plans. Mental health is quite a demanding field. Mental health practitioners should have well-developed analytical and problem-solving skills along with compassion and understanding. 

If you are looking to perform a direct role in improving patients’ health through clinical care, becoming a nurse practitioner offers many routes you can take. Irrespective of the specialty that nurse practitioners eventually choose, their work can significantly improve patient outcomes. Nurse practitioners can close the gap caused by primary care provider shortages and ensure optimal health for patients of all ages and demographics. 

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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