What Are The Steps To Becoming A Nurse Practitioner – If you enjoy making a difference in the lives of others, why not make a career out of it? Earning a nursing degree is certainly one of the greatest educational investments you can make these days. Nursing as a profession is a rewarding career, filled with many opportunities, challenges and rewards.
If you are in high school, useful courses to consider are science, especially biology, anatomy and physiology, and chemistry. You will also need math / algebra and excellent written and verbal communication skills. If you are a high school graduate considering nursing, courses required for most programs may include: Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Nutrition, Algebra and Statistics, Lifespan Development, English Composition, Sociology, and Psychology. The number of prerequisites depends on the specific program you choose. If you are a nurse interested in Advanced Practice Nursing (APRN), a Registered Nurse (RN) license is a prerequisite for the APRN licensure/credentialing program.
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The two most common types of nursing programs include practical nurses (PNs) and pre-licensure nursing (BSN). Education requirements are different for each program. The PN program is the fastest option, anywhere from 12 to 18 months. The pre-certificate program has a choice of either a two-year associate’s degree (ADN) or a four-year bachelor’s degree (BSN). Earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing can be a stepping stone to further career opportunities with further education, such as Advanced Practice Nurses (APRN) (eg, Nurse Practitioners [NP], Nurse Midwives [NM], and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists [CRNA] ]). The length of the program may vary depending on whether the person is enrolled in the school full-time or part-time.
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Each program may have slightly different application processes and requirements. Programs should be contacted directly for additional program information. Inquiries about admission should be made as far in advance as possible.
After graduation, applicants must pass the NCLEX exam. Mississippi is an NLC (Nurse Licensure Compact) state. This means that if a nurse’s primary residence is in Mississippi, s/he can practice in any of the 32 contracting states.
The Mississippi Board of Nursing certifies qualified registered nurses to practice as registered nurses (APRN) in the state. To become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), you must complete the following steps.
You have to study towards a recognized concentration. The Mississippi Board of Nursing has approved various programs to meet requirements. The programs must be fully accredited by a recognized national accrediting body. Furthermore, the board set special requirements for the curriculum of accredited nursing programs in specialization. An APRN in Mississippi is automatically granted a prescription.
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If you want to work as a nurse practitioner (NP), you must also complete the nursing concentration (eg, family/individual across the lifespan, adult/gerontology, pediatric, neonatal, women’s health, psychiatry/mental health) in which you plan to practice.
The following national credentialing organizations are accredited by the Mississippi Board of Nursing (please note that each organization has specific registration requirements): • ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center), which accredits the Adult Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP), Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) and The Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). • AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners) , which accredits the adult nurse practitioner and adult-gerontology Primary Care NP. • AACN (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses), which accredits the critical care nurse. • NCC (National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties) , which accredits Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP). • PNCB (Pediatric Nursing Certification Board), which accredits the pediatric nurse in acute care and primary care. • AMCB (American Midwifery Certification Board), which accredits the Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). • National Board for Certification and Recertification of Anesthesiologists (NBCRNA) , which accredits the board certified anesthesiologist (CRNA).
You must complete the initial application for certification to practice as an APRN and include all required documents and fees. However, if you have not yet received national or state certification but still want to practice, you can apply for advanced certification. This process will provide you with a 120-day certification from the date you complete your graduate studies. Additionally, you must prove that you are in the process of becoming certified.
APRN certification must be renewed every other year on even-numbered years by December 31 along with RN licensure. Both renewals can be completed online. The Mississippi Board of Nursing has established a requirement that all APRNs participate in 40 contact hours of CE (continuing education) related to their specialty every two years. Two of these classes must be on the pharmacology of controlled substances if you have received a prescription for these substances. The APRN and RN certifications cost $100 each to renew. In addition, you must fill out the appropriate documents to get your license renewed. Certified nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are the highest paid nurses in the United States, and the demand for CRNAs is predicted to increase significantly over the next decade. The CRNA is the oldest nursing specialty in the United States, and CRNAs became the first advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to gain accreditation to practice independently.
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However, the path to becoming a CRNA is long and arduous—requiring a minimum of seven years of experience and education after completing a baccalaureate degree in nursing.
Certified nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia for all types of surgery and various other procedures. These are advanced practice nurses who are prepared at the master’s or doctoral level and then certified by the National Board of Certification and ReCertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) after passing the exam.
CRNAs are used in many different healthcare settings and do the same work as anesthesiologists. More than two-thirds of US hospitals employ CRNAs, and in rural and other medically underserved areas, they are often the only anesthesia providers. In the US military, they are primarily providing anesthesia, including in combat zones since World War I. This may be one of the reasons why more than 40% of anesthesiologists are male, a much higher percentage than the 10% for the profession as a whole.
Nurses were first used to administer anesthesia during the American Civil War. In the earliest hospitals founded by religious orders, the sisters were often trained to administer anesthesia. One of them, Agnes Magaw, became very skilled and earned the title “Mother of Anesthesia.”
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The first formal education of nurse anesthetists began in 1909, and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) first introduced a certification program in 1945, with 92 candidates taking the exam. Certification became mandatory in 1978. The AANA was also responsible for organizing a system to accredit nurse anesthesia educational programs in 1952.
For many decades, the development of the specialty was not without problems. Several lawsuits were filed by members of the medical fraternity, who were concerned about competition from nurses. The most important of these was a case filed in 1934 that eventually went all the way to the California Supreme Court. The court ruled against the medical board and set a legal precedent for nurses to practice anesthesia.
Today, CRNAs are recognized in all 50 states of the United States. In most of these states, they are self-employed and eligible for direct Medicare payments.
On a typical day, the nurse anesthetist will first check the patient list for the day and ensure equipment and medications are ready and in order. The next step is to meet and assess the first patient before developing the anesthesia plan, taking into account potential complications. The evaluation includes an interview, examination and review of all the patient’s medical records. Additional consultations and diagnostic tests can be ordered.
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The patient is then escorted to the operating room where an anesthesiologist administers either general, regional (for example epidural) or local anesthesia. Some procedures, such as cardiac catheterization, require only sedation and monitoring. Throughout the procedure, the anesthesiologist monitors the patient’s vital signs; maintains airway and physiological balance and determines which medications the patient needs as the procedure progresses.
Once the procedure is complete, the anesthesiologist allows the patient to come out of anesthesia – the goal is for the patient to recover as quickly as possible, peacefully and with minimal pain and other side effects. The anesthesiologist accompanies the patient to the recovery area after surgery, completes a final assessment, prescribes additional medications as needed – especially pain medication, and then hands them off to a nurse in the recovery area. Increased follow-up may be necessary if complications occur.
Nurse anesthetists who work in hospitals are also often part of the teams that respond to emergencies that require basic or advanced cardiac life support.
Although nurse anesthetists only work with one patient at a time, and for a short period of time, it is very
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