Nurse Practitioner Career Trends

Nurse practitioner career trends are a study in themselves of how the nursing profession is changing. Nurse practitioners, who first began training in the US in 1965, are rapidly becoming the link between traditional doctor’s roles and the nursing role. That’s not necessarily very popular with doctors in some areas, but the trend is irreversible.

Nurse practitioner jobs need some defining at this point to explain the basis of career trends. Nurse practitioners are primary care givers. That means their basic duties include (where licenses permit) the following:

  • Minor medical procedures
  • Prescribing drugs
  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiology
  • Midwifery
  • Acute care
  • Counseling
  • Health promotion
  • Clinical nurse specialist roles

That’s a relatively short list. The very wide skill set used in these different kinds of care is the broad base of nurse practitioner career development. In most cases, a nurse practitioner will specialize in one field or another. The nearest thing to a generalist nurse practitioner role is clinical work, and that also involves a wide set of skills.

Important: Check out Nursing Jobs.org for a good look at nurse practitioner jobs. If you’re a nurse, this site also allows you to post your resume. This is a pretty good job hunting option, because employers contact you through the site, and if you’re interested in the jobs, you can follow up on a contact.  

Nurse Practitioner Career Development Options

The current next stage of a nurse practitioner career after the basic qualification is that of advanced nurse practitioner (APN). APNs often work independently of doctors. (Again depending on licensing in the different states) APNs generally start from the master's degree level, and some proceed to doctorates. They also have research, management and other senior roles. This may seem like a fairly clear-cut career path so far, but the opportunities for development of specializations are also very good.

The demand for nurse practitioners and APNs is a primary driver in career terms, and it’s a major influence on career choices and options. A nurse practitioner may gravitate through the line of work into a particular career path or choose a career track.

In the future, nursing colleges are switching to a doctoral nurse qualification, so it may be expected that the development of these roles will accelerate over time and widen the scope of practice for nurse practitioners exponentially. This is likely to dramatically expand nurse practitioner career options across the board.

A typical nurse practitioner career progression is based on the experience requirements of nursing, qualifications, certifications and licensing. The experience requirements are the only thing that’s likely to remain the same in future. Qualifications are becoming easier to get as educational facilities and the availability of nursing training expand.

The doctoral approach will also have a major impact on nurse practitioner careers. The ability to provide services will be greatly enhanced, which also means the senior roles will develop in line with these changes. If you’re looking at a nurse practitioner career, now is definitely the time to start exploring the possibilities.