Do you know the difference between a Registered Nurse and a Nurse Practitioner? I didn’t have any idea until I met my friend Stacey. She is a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and agreed to sit down with me to explain what she does. She is not only a great friend, but a phenomenal provider. I know that because she has taken care of my kids on multiple occasions! Thanks, Stacey!!!
Q: What is the title of your profession?
A: I am a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
Q: What is a day in the life of your profession?
A: I am currently a Nurse Practitioner working for a hospital in an urgent care facility. I work three 12 hour shifts per week which varies each week. I see patients with a common cold all the way up to very emergent issues such as people having heart attacks. I work every day with the general public and it changes every day.
Q: Have you always worked in this field?
A: No, prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, I worked as a Registered Nurse. I did this for two years. I worked as a RN on the Labor and Delivery floor of a hospital taking care of mothers and babies and I also worked for one year at a pediatricians office.
Q: What is the difference between a Registered Nurse and a Nurse Practitioner?
A: A Registered Nurse is someone who has a 4 year bachelors degree in the Science of Nursing. To become a Nurse Practitioner you must first be an Registered Nurse and then have a graduate degree in health studies and nursing which makes you an advanced practicing nurse.
Q: What made you decide to change your profession from being a RN to a NP?
A: I did it because as a Registered Nurse I was mainly working the night shift and was not overly excited about the schedule and working all of the holidays. When I left the hospital to work at the pediatricians office, my hours were 9:00am-5:00pm. This is also where I first became exposed to Nurse Practitioners. Additionally, after working as an RN for two years, I felt like I wanted to be challenged to do more with the patient than the what the Registered Nursing role could provide me.
Q: What kind of degree do you have?
A: I went to a four year college and I have an undergraduate degree in the Science of Nursing. I then went back to graduate school for two years to become a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner in adult medicine and then an additional year to become a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner.
Q: Can you use your degree in any other profession besides the clinical setting?
A: Yes. Nurse Practitioners are often hired by insurance companies, they work as educators in the public and also in administration at hospitals, nursing homes, etc.
Q: Does your profession require any continued education?
A: Yes. The American Nursing Credential Center(ANCC) requires me to have 150 hours every four years. The State of Maine requires me to have 75 continuing education hours every two years.
Q: Are you board certified?
A: Yes. I am board certified by the American Nursing Credential Center.
Q: What kind of certification are you required to have?
A: I am required by the American Nursing Credential Center (ANCC) to be re-certified every four years. Currently the cost of this certification is $600. I also renew my State of Maine RN and Advanced Nursing License every two years. The cost of these are $75 each. I am also certified by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to be able to write prescriptions for narcotics and must renew this every three years. This re-certification costs $1000. All of these certifications are reimbursed by the facility I am working at. Although I am not practicing as a RN, I never let my license lapse. You never know when I may want to go back!
Q: Do you have to purchase malpractice insurance?
A: I do have malpractice insurance, but I have always chosen to work at institutions that provide it for me. The only time I every had to purchase malpractice insurance on my own was when I was in Nurse Practitioner school. This was required by the school I was attending. I was doing clinical hours at a hospital and at a family practice.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A: The most rewarding part is that I can be with people in pivotal moments of their life that are either really good or really bad and I help them through it and be part of it.
Q: What do you dislike about your job?
A: My job can be stressful, but that stress forces me to work harder. I also dislike the fact that I do have to work some weekends and holidays and be away from my family.
Q: What advice would you give to a child/student that is considering this as their future profession?
A: I think that healthcare is one of the most rewarding careers that you can be in. During these economic times, you cannot go wrong being in healthcare.
Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you do it all over again?
A: Yes. **** There was no hesitation in that answer!
It is always nice to speak with someone who really loves what they do. Maybe this career is for you? Check it out!