What Are the Main Differences in Working as a Nurse Practitioner After Being a Registered Nurse?


If you are a nurse who is thinking about advancing your career to a new level by qualifying to become a nurse practitioner, such as an FNP, then you may well be wondering just how different your working life will be when you have achieved your new position.

Nurse practitioners are among the most heavily in demand healthcare professionals, and for good reason, as they provide a vital service that sits somewhere between a nurse and a physician – diagnosing and treating a wide variety of patients and conditions, including complex health issues. Here we look at some of the main differences people experience when changing jobs from a registered nurse to an NP:

Nurse Practitioners Fill a Similar Role to GPs

There is currently a lack of physicians who choose to focus on primary care after qualifying as medical doctors, and this means that for many of the most common health issues faced by the public, getting to see a GP isn’t easy. This is a problem that is addressed by highly skilled nurses with advanced training – the nurse practitioners – who can consult with patients and prescribe and administer treatments with a similar level of autonomy to GPs in a lot of cases. This can make the role very different from an RN, although the experience and medical expertise that comes with having worked as an RN are essential to being able to provide this service.

Nurse Practitioners Have More of a Focus on Leadership and Relationships

If you are planning to study and transition from RN to NP, then one of the things that you will need to be most prepared for is that an NP usually has a more involved role in the running of a practice, and will have a lot more input when it comes to both the politics of the place where they work and the innovation and patient care that take place there. NPs need to be good at building good working relationships with doctors and administrators, as well as at providing a good service to their patients, and this change in scope is one of the most important changes you will need to expect as you advance your career into an NP role.

A Lucrative and Highly in Demand Role

Naturally, another big difference that comes with the increased responsibility and the level of training you’ll need is a higher salary. Nurse practitioners can be very well paid, and while what salary you can expect will depend on your location, the type of place you work in, and how long you have been at the NP level, you can definitely expect taking the next step in your career to be financially rewarding. The high demand and the fact NPs are needed everywhere also means you should have no difficulty finding a job that appeals to you, no matter where you want to live.

Being a nurse practitioner is a challenging yet highly rewarding job, and a career move you can be very proud of. Why not take a look at the training programs that could help you make the transition?