Career Spotlight

Nurse Practitioner

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Nurse Practitioner

Quick Facts

2017 Median Pay: $110,930/year; $53.33/hour

Typical Entry-Level Education: Master’s Degree

On-the-job Training: None

Number of Jobs, 2016: 203,800

Job Outlook 2016-26: 31% (much faster than average)

Employment Change 2016-26: 64,200

What They Do

Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare. The scope of practice varies from state to state.

How To Become One

The path to becoming a nurse depends on how long you’re willing to go to college. Here are the different levels of nursing:

CNA: Certified Nursing Assistant. You can earn this certification quickly (1 semester). Health Occupations is a class seniors at AHS can take and earn their CNA license-- so you could get it before you even graduate high school!

LPN: Licensed Practical Nurse. This is a one year certification.

RN: Registered Nurse, a two year or four year program. Most nurses are RN's.  You can become an RN in two years, however many employers are now seeking RN's with their BSN's (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) completed, which is the four year degree. Completing the four-year degree makes it easier to get a job, and easier to move onto the next level if you're interested.

APN: Advanced Practice Nurse (Nurse Practitioner) This is a Master's Degree, which is about 6 or more years of college total. This level of certification allows you to have many of the same responsibilities as a full-fledged doctor. As an APN, you can choose your specialty.

Do you think health care is for you? Click here for Similar Occupations!

Students can email Mrs. Mendez at if they want information on a specific career. She may even use it in a future Spotlight!