Nurse Practitioners are classified as Social careers in the Strong Interest Inventory®. The Strong Interest Inventory® has been used since its release in 1927. It matches individuals with careers they will find fulfilling based on their personal tendencies and workplace preferences. For example, people who enjoy nurturing or mentoring others, and who derive workplace satisfaction from contact with others, are well-suited to being Nurse Practitioners. They usually find fulfillment in caring for the sick or providing other kinds of emotional and physical mentorship or support in times of need.

Nurse Practitioners are responsible for diagnosing and treating illnesses either independently or as part of a larger team of medical professionals. The first step is to analyze patients’ symptoms and histories to make an appropriate diagnosis. It may be an injury like a broken bone, or an illness like the flu. A diagnosis may involve tests like blood counts, radiographs, or other examinations that can expose issues that are not clearly visible. Once the diagnosis is made, Nurse Practitioners recommend interventions, including therapy and medications that will result in the best possible patient outcome. If the treatment involves medication, they are licensed to prescribe appropriate medicines, and instruct patients on the proper dosage for their age, gender, weight, and other characteristics. An additional consideration is the interaction that particular medications may have with one another, particularly if the patient is pregnant, very young, or elderly. In cases where specialized care is needed, Nurse Practitioners refer patients to other specialists who can provide more targeted care.

Nurse Practitioner

Learn all about a career as a Nurse Practitioner including career stats such as Median Salary, Daily Tasks, Required Education, Employment Growth and More!

Throughout this process, Nurse Practitioners maintain careful and detailed records of patients’ health and progress made under various treatment regimens, while providing patients with the information that they need to reduce their own risk factors. They schedule and perform follow-up examinations periodically, and ensure that patients are kept informed of their progress. Finally, Nurse Practitioners need to remain up-to-date on the newest medical research and innovations, as well as the most recent legal regulations related to their practice. This is necessary to ensure that their patients are receiving the best possible care, and also that Practitioners’ behavior is in alignment with all state and federal regulations.

Nurse Practitioners use standard medical and office software, including Microsoft Office Suite, MEDITECH software, PCC Pediatric Partner, and other coding software. In terms of instruments, their range is much broader, including braces, catheters, automated external defibrillators, syringes, blood pressure units, stethoscopes, various monitors and meters for blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, intracranial pressure, and various kinds of bandages and tourniquets. Additionally, Nurse Practitioners must use safety equipment, such as gowns, gloves, goggles, and antiseptic solution.

Nurse Practitioners require extensive preparation, with 83% holding a Master’s Degree and 7% holding a Doctorate Degree. This level of preparation is necessary to develop the depth of knowledge of medicine, psychology and biology needed to be a successful Nurse Practitioner. These professionals also learn to solve complex problems quickly and under duress, as well as communicate effectively and efficiently about technical details of treatment regimens.

The employment rate for Nurse Practitioners is expected to rise rapidly before 2024, with the U.S. adding over 45,000 jobs nation-wide. The fastest growth is projected in Florida and Texas, both with projected growth rates nearing 50%. These states alone are projected to add nearly 8,000 jobs between them. California is projected to add over 4,000 jobs, with a growth rate just shy of 40%. Their salary is also competitive nationally, with the median income being just under $100,000 per year. However, in many western states (California, Washington, Arizona, Texas) and mid-Atlantic states (New York, New Jersey, Delaware), the median Nurse Practitioners salaries are well over $110,000. On the low end, the lowest-paid Nurse Practitioners in West Virginia, for instance, make just under $70,000 per year.

Below are some employment trends for Nurse Practitioners

  • Median Nurse Practitioner Salary: $47.21/hour; $98,190 annually
  • Employment: 127,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2014-2024): Much faster than average (14% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2014-2024): 74,700
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections