Home Career Tips Reasons to become a nurse practitioner in the US

Reasons to become a nurse practitioner in the US

by Lisa A. Yeager

If you are looking for a fulfilling and rewarding profession, you might want to consider a role in the healthcare sector. For example, when you become a nurse practitioner, your job involves improving and saving other people’s lives, and there are multiple growth opportunities. Sound interesting? Read this complete guide to learn more about the nurse practitioner role and why this career path is worth pursuing.

Nurse practitioner overview

A nurse practitioner is a licensed healthcare professional trained to provide multiple medical services. You can work independently or as part of a healthcare team and can diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and prescribe medications. To work in this role, you require a graduate-level education and certification in your specialty area.

nurse practitioner

The skills you acquire during training allow you to assess, diagnose, and treat patients with acute and chronic conditions. As a professional, you can provide preventive care and health screenings, manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and perform routine physical exams. Other duties may include ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, such as laboratory work and imaging studies.

If you become a nurse practitioner, you can work in various settings, including primary care, hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. For career specialization, you can consider specific areas, such as oncology.

Nurse practitioner requirements 

You must pass a rigorous education program to work as a nurse practitioner. Typical requirements include:

  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
  • Become a registered nurse.
  • Complete a doctoral or master’s nursing program.
  • Pass a board certification exam.
  • Obtain nurse practitioner licensure.

Many educational institutions provide various programs you can pursue to acquire the skills and certification you need to be a nurse practitioner. For example, Rockhurst University offers advanced courses, helping you to gain a competitive edge in your career path.

With a nursing shortage in the United States, pursuing further education can position you to become one of the most sought-after roles in the country. Besides championing transformative learning, Rockhurst’s programs offer flexibility via online learning. If you are working, this is a great opportunity to advance your career without quitting.

Why pursue a nurse practitioner career?

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report, job opportunities for nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists have 40% expected growth by 2030. Aside from the bright employment future for nurse practitioners, there are many reasons you may find this career path rewarding, including the following:


As a nurse practitioner, there are multiple specialized areas you can consider. These areas allow you to focus on specific patient populations and particular medical conditions. Here are common specialization areas:

  • Family practice: You provide primary care to patients of all ages, including infants, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly.
  • Pediatrics: This field focuses on providing primary care to infants, children, and adolescents. The role requires additional training in child development, growth and development, and childhood illnesses.
  • Geriatrics: This role involves providing primary care to older adults and managing age-related health conditions such as arthritis, dementia, and osteoporosis.
  • Women’s health: In this specialized area, you care for women in multiple ways, including prenatal care, menopause, and gynecological concerns.
  • Mental health: Duties include caring for patients with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Acute care: This role specializes in treating individuals with acute illness or injury. You work in urgent care centers, emergency departments, and critical care units.
  • Oncology: As a professional in this sector, you provide primary care to patients with cancer.

Establish autonomy

In today’s job environment, self-employment is becoming popular. If this is your dream, a profession as a nurse practitioner allows you to start a private practice. This improves autonomy in your work, and you can tailor your services to your patient’s needs.

Starting a private practice allows you to create your schedule and decide what services to offer. You can choose your office location based on your goals, especially if you live in a rural area or want to open a practice closer to home.

To succeed, you must understand how to deal with insurance companies, billing, coding, and other administrative tasks. This includes responsibilities like managing finances, marketing, and hiring staff. For a successful practice, create a solid business plan and collaborate with other experts, such as accountants and attorneys.

Competitive pay

As a nursing practitioner, your work is critical in the healthcare industry, and you can expect competitive pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for nurse practitioners was $118,040 in 2021, making these professionals among the best-paid in the sector.

In addition to competitive pay, you can maximize your income through bonuses and profit sharing. The role comes with more overtime pay and paid time off opportunities than registered nurses.

The demand for nurse practitioners is increasing, and more job opportunities and better pay are opening. As the population ages and healthcare becomes more complex, there is a growing need for healthcare professionals who can provide primary care and manage chronic conditions.

Opportunities for professional growth

A nursing practitioner can be an excellent choice if you seek a career that offers professional growth opportunities. You can further your education and obtain advanced certifications in your field, leading to greater job opportunities, higher salaries, and more autonomy in your work.

You can work in academia, administration, or research using your acquired skills. You can work in academia, administration, or study with your acquired skills. You can work in academia, administration, or research with your acquired skills. For example, you can pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice or a Ph.D. in nursing. If you obtain additional certifications in specialized areas, you open more job opportunities and an increased salary.

Nurse practitioners can participate in ongoing professional development and continuing education. This lets you stay current with medical advancements and improve your clinical skills. You can also take on a leadership position within your organization. In this role, your duties may include the following:

  • Serving as a clinical leader.
  • Mentoring other nurses.
  • I am participating in committees and task forces to shape healthcare policy.

High job satisfaction

According to the US News and World Report, the nurse practitioner job was the best in the healthcare field in 2022. The profession allows you to make a meaningful difference in individuals’ lives by providing high-quality care and promoting health and wellness. As you work with patients, you can build long-term relationships and provide continuity of care.

A nurse practitioner career offers high autonomy, creating a sense of accomplishment and pride. You can make independent decisions, order diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and develop treatment plans.

Work-life balance

As a nurse practitioner, you can enjoy an exceptional balance between work and personal life. This is beneficial if you have family or other personal responsibilities. This is beneficial if you have family or other personal commitments. This is beneficial if you have family or other personal responsibilities. Many nurse practitioners have a flexible schedule, enhancing their work-life balance.

With many options for nursing practitioners, you can choose where to work according to your situation. For example, you can work in a clinic with regular hours or a hospital with rotating shifts. This flexibility allows you to find the best schedule for you and your lifestyle.

Travel opportunities

Do you love traveling, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures? Working as a travel nurse provides a perfect opportunity. This is a great way to experience the world while doing what you love. There are various travel nursing opportunities available. These may include:

  • Medical mission organizations.
  • AmeriCorps.
  • Homeland Security Department.
  • Veteran Affairs Department.
  • The military.
  • Peace Corps.

With travel nursing, you can earn a higher salary than a permanent position. It can cover your housing and travel needs, allowing you to cut your daily expenses.

As a travel nurse, you encounter different settings, unique patient populations, and various healthcare systems. Use these experiences to expand your skills and knowledge to become a well-rounded healthcare professional.

Long-term career

In 2020, about 37% of the labor force in the United States changed jobs. If you become a nurse practitioner, you can switch to a different profession. However, most individuals in this field choose not to, as they find it fulfilling and rewarding. The career path provides stability, growth, and a sense of purpose. The high demand for healthcare professionals makes it a career likely to last many years.

Advance your education and gain relevant certifications to open up more job opportunities and increase your earning potential. As discussed earlier in this article, consider specializing in specific areas for greater autonomy in your work.

Schooling cost assistance

Paying for your education can be costly, and not everyone can afford it. There are multiple options available for financial assistance for nurse practitioner students. They include scholarships, grants, and loan forgiveness programs. These programs can help you pay for your education and reduce overall debt.

Many organizations, such as the National Health Service Corps and the National Institute of Health, offer loan repayment programs for nurse practitioners. These programs can help you pay off your student loans in exchange for your commitment to work in certain areas for a certain period. In return, you commit to working in underserved or high-need areas.

You can also apply for scholarships from nursing organizations, universities, and private foundations. These institutions award scholarships based on your academic performance, financial need, or other factors such as your background and experience.

If you are working, your employer can provide tuition reimbursement, helping you advance your skills. Many employers may offer this as a benefit to their employees, allowing them to pay for their education while they work.

Earn respect and trust.

Pursue a nurse practitioner career and earn the respect and trust of your patients, colleagues, and community. This role means you have a high-level education, training, and patient care experience. This knowledge and expertise are valuable to your patients and earn you their trust and respect.

As a reliable healthcare professional providing continuity care, you help your patients feel more comfortable and secure. If you acquire a leadership position in the field, you can mentor other nurse practitioners, earning respect and trust from your colleagues.

Work from home

With the advancement of technology, telehealth has become a popular option for many healthcare professionals, including nurse practitioners. Did you know a nurse practitioner can work from home? Did you see a nurse practitioner who can work from home? Available channels to care for your patients remotely include videoconferencing, phone calls, and messaging.

Working from home can be fulfilling, providing a greater work-life balance. If you have mobility issues, live in a rural area, and have difficulty commuting to work, remote service provision allows you to pursue your career with minimal pitfalls.

Working from home saves time and money on commuting and allows you to create a personalized schedule. With this program, you can wear what you want and work in a comfortable environment.

While telehealth is popular among many healthcare institutions, the scope of practice and the rules and regulations vary by state. Check your state’s laws on remote working before venturing into telehealth.

Excellent retirement benefits and health insurance

Due to the increased demand for nursing practitioners, this career offers better compensation on your insurance and retirement benefits. Many employers provide comprehensive health insurance and dental and vision coverage as part of their benefits package. This lets you protect yourself and your family from unexpected medical expenses and gives you access to the necessary care.

You can participate in retirement plans, such as 401(k) or a pension plan. These programs allow you to save for your future, providing a comfortable retirement. Your employer may offer matching contributions to your retirement plan, boosting your savings. Other benefits include paid time off, sick leave, and disability insurance to care for you and your loved ones.

Ability to provide holistic care

Most nursing practitioners are passionate about caring for their patients and improving their lives. Holistic care is one of the most effective treatment approaches today. This involves a patient-centered approach that considers the whole person. Holistic care lets you impact the patient’s physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. The system looks beyond treating the disease or illness and focuses on the individual’s well-being.

Your daily duties involve collaborating with other healthcare professionals, such as social workers and chaplains, to provide a comprehensive care plan. As a passionate nurse practitioner, you listen to your patients and understand their unique experiences and perspectives. This helps you provide care tailored to their needs for better health outcomes.

Schooling convenience

Working while furthering your education can be challenging for some industries, but healthcare is different. Many universities and colleges offer distance learning or hybrid programs, allowing you to complete your education as you work or handle other responsibilities. If you have limited access to the traditional on-campus programs or want flexibility, it is best to take this route.

With online programs’ flexibility, you can attend classes and complete coursework at your convenience. Many universities and colleges offer evening and weekend classes. This is an excellent option if you work full-time or have other commitments during the day. Choose from multiple educational institutions and programs based on your needs and interests.

Interesting career

Life as a nurse practitioner can be exciting. The healthcare field is dynamic, meaning you will learn and grow your knowledge while carrying out your daily duties. Such experiences make a nursing practitioner’s career interesting.

You encounter multiple work settings, such as hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and patient’s homes. This allows you to experience different environments and patient populations, keeping your work interesting. If you intend to specialize, you can choose a field you love and fulfill your visions.

Be proud of your achievements.

While many seek a nurse practitioner career, you must complete a thorough education program. Attaining all the required credentials in a competitive profession is a great accomplishment. You gain respect in society and should be proud of your exceptional achievement.

Once you complete the required education and start impacting other people’s lives, your family and friends will be proud of your achievement. Becoming an esteemed nurse practitioner is an excellent way to enhance your satisfaction and confidence.

Pursue your next challenge.

Are you a nurse who is always looking for a more challenging endeavor? Becoming a nurse practitioner can be an excellent option. Your job involves various patients, work settings, and healthcare professionals. As you work in this role, you experience different encounters daily.

If you love challenges, you may find a nurse practitioner career exciting, as every day is unique. With cutting-edge ideas emerging daily in the healthcare sector, you can position yourself as an innovator and contribute to the industry’s developments.

Start your nurse practitioner career journey today.

The healthcare sector is ever-evolving. Becoming a nurse practitioner has many benefits, making it one of the most fulfilling and rewarding careers. Your professional journey can be exciting, from earning a competitive salary to impacting patients’ lives with holistic care. Pursuing this career path requires learning and growing in a dynamic work environment.

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