A highly qualified caregiver who can perform certain roles that are normally only assigned to physicians is called a nurse practitioner. They are an elite group of registered nursing professionals who have specialist understanding and extensive experience. Once gained, nurse practitioner certification greatly enhances a person's career.
In addition to the foundational training, these caregivers have engaged in serious post-graduate training and therefore will compete advantageously with other health professionals. They have specialized in a particular type of care, for example, in women's health care, acute cases or the care of children. Dating back to the sixties, those choosing this career path did not use to need to do such detailed studies.
In these modern times, the pathway to becoming qualified starts by gaining the basic training and putting in the hours of practice to obtain the basic level of registration. A doctorate degree or at least a master's is the next step. It is essential that these studies are based on the chosen specialist area.
Once this period of further education together with the necessary hours of clinical experience comes to a conclusion, the final certificate can be applied for. It is necessary to gain this from the particular state of future employment. It is therefore necessary to research the requirements of the state of your choice.
Actual certification is on a national rather than state level. It involves passing at least one exam in one's chosen specialty. These tests are computer based and there is a lot of help on-line to prepare for success in the exam. In particular, there is a flashcard system that has condensed a tremendous quantity of information into a form that can easily be memorized.
Once full certification has been achieved, a nurse practitioner works on their own or alongside medical doctors. Biennial or triennial license renewal is necessary depending on the state's requirements. Nurse practitioner certification is accepted by governing boards, insurance corporations and the military. As a greatly valued certification, it deserves to be seriously considered.