Have you been wondering what the difference is between a nurse and a nurse practitioner? Or maybe you’re already working as a nurse and you’d like to level up your career? New York recently signed new legislation into action that awards nurse practitioners the ability to work independently, making it a great time to explore this career path. Here are 3 reasons to consider a career as a nurse practitioner.
You have more autonomy. Because of a nurse practitioner’s advanced education and experience, New York now allows nurse practitioners to enjoy the same autonomy as a physician. This legislation was just signed in 2022, granting NPs “full practice authority.” That means they’re licensed to see their own patients without the oversight of a supervising physician. They’re able to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients, manage the treatment plan, prescribe medications, interpret lab tests, and refer patients to specialists. In states with reduced or restricted practice, the NP works in a regulated collaborative team with another healthcare provider or is subject to career-long supervision.
You develop deeper relationships with patients. With that autonomy, you are likely to develop long-term relationships with your patients. If you specialize in family practice, you might treat the whole family, and that provides continuity for you and the family. Within the medical field, nurse practitioners can choose a specialty. Some of the more popular specialties include family practice, pediatrics, women’s health, and gerontology. No matter what you choose, you’ll likely develop a close connection with your patients.
The field is growing. Between 2021-31, the NP field is projected to grow 46%, one of the fastest-growing fields, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. In New York, the job market for NPs is projected to grow 41% by 2028, according to a 2022 report by CareerOneStop. To put that number into perspective, the average growth rate for jobs is typically 5%. The projected growth for NPs is in part due to a large segment of the population aging into retirement but also due to an expected shortage of physicians. Nurse practitioners will play an important role in filling the gap in New York with their new “full practice authority.”
Do you already work in nursing or are you considering how to get started so you can reach your career goal to become a nurse practitioner? The path requires a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) and completing a higher number of clinical hours. Although it’s possible to become a nurse practitioner right away, many NPs start their careers off as RNs.
If you’re looking to get started in your nursing education or further advance your nursing career, St. Paul’s School of Nursing—campuses in Queens and Staten Island—offers an associate degree in nursing (ADN). Visit our website, or call (855) 822-3018 to speak to one of our admissions representatives or to schedule a campus tour.