Being a nurse practitioner is an honorable but challenging profession. Your job is primarily focused on helping people. You provide essential medical care to patients, as well as support their families, your co-workers, and the wider community.
Besides the obvious good you will be doing for society, a nurse practitioner typically comes with a higher salary than many other health practitioners. The median pay for nurse practitioners was $103,880 in 2017, compared with $70,000 for registered nurses.
With so much going for nurse practitioners, it’s little wonder that you want to know how to become one. And what better place to learn your trade than in Ohio? From Ohio State University College of Nursing to Chamberlain University near Columbus, the Buckeye State has plenty of opportunities to learn and work as a nurse practitioner.
Of course, there are many steps along the way, so read on to find out how to become a nurse practitioner in Ohio.
What’s the difference between a registered nurse and a nurse practitioner?
An excellent place to start is understanding the difference between registered nurses and nurse practitioners. Also known as RNs, registered nurses often work with physicians in patient care facilities. They are qualified to assess and record patients’ conditions, administer treatments signed off by a physician and create care plans for patients living at home.
A nurse practitioner is a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Nurse practitioners can perform many of the same duties as a physician, such as ordering and performing diagnostic tests, interpreting test results, diagnosing and providing treatment options, and prescribing medications and therapies. Nurse practitioners can also work autonomously without physician supervision and specialize in specific areas such as paediatrics and family health.
Step 1: Get your bachelor’s degree
To become a nurse practitioner,you will first need to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The four-year program has specially designed courses that cover various topics such as anatomy, nutrition, and chemistry.
Upon graduation, the student must use the knowledge gained throughout the degree to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Passing the exam will qualify you to become a registered nurse that can operate in clinics unless you choose to specialize in an area that requires additional licensing.
Step 2: Earn your Master’s Degree
The next step on your way to becoming a nurse practitioner is obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). This more advanced degree builds on the groundwork laid down in the BSN degree. It focuses on providing students with core scientific principles and evidence-based nursing practices, allowing you to build new skills that will help you become a nurse practitioner.
Some coursework often explores more complex issues, such as political factors, prescription authority law and advanced pharmacology. MSN students must also undertake practical experiences, allowing you to build your skills within a real work environment and often with actual nurse practitioners.
Step 3: Achieve specialization
MNS programs often have paths for APRN roles that focus on specific areas. You should have a general idea of what path you would like to pursue by this time. Since you are already looking to become a nurse practitioner rather than some other path, such as a nurse educator, you will have to pick a specialization that fits your goal. Below are three specialist paths you could take that would result in you becoming a nurse practitioner:
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): This type of NP works with patients throughout their lives, primarily focusing on family health. To practice as an FNP in Ohio, nurses must obtain a Certificate of Authority (COA) from the Ohio Board of Nursing and are required to hold a current, unencumbered RN license in the state.
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP): An AGACNP provides primary care for adults experiencing common or chronic conditionsor who are in acute care situations. You will need your Post-Master’s Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate to practice in Ohio.
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): A PMHNP works with patients experiencing mental illnesses by providing therapy options and prescribing medications where necessary.
An advanced practice nurse in Ohio holds both an RN license and an APRN license, sometimes called a Certificate of Authority. Both licenses are specific to Ohio as the state is not a member of the nurse license compact. An out-of-state RN will need to obtain a licence by endorsement to practice in Ohio.
Step 4: Sort out your registered nurse insurance in Ohio
You’ve done the hard yards putting years into study and getting qualified to become a nurse practitioner. Now you can run the show and branch out into your own practice, but it’s still not going to be easy. You will need to work tirelessly day in and day to provide the highest standard of care possible. The last thing you need is a claim to be made against you.
Nurse’s insurance in Ohio can keep you protected from risk in an often unpredictable and challenging profession. Even a tiny mistake could affect a patient in a big way. If they think you are at fault for the losses they suffered because of your work, they could decide to sue. Coverages like E&O insurance, also known as Professional Liability insurance for nurses, General Liability, and Cyber Liability can help protect you from the financially devastating effects of a lawsuit.
BizInsure’s selection of insurance products are specifically designed to provide nurse practitioners like you with peace of mind and the protection needed to care for your patients with confidence. Compare policies from top-rated insurance companies, buy online, and receive your policy documents instantly.