Nurse Practitioner Disadvantages

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A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced education. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)(n.d.), they “provide initial, ongoing, and comprehensive care, which includes taking health histories; providing physical examinations and other health assessment; and diagnosing, treating, and managing patients with acute and chronic conditions” (p. 7). “Advanced practice nurses actually predate the founding of modern professional nursing” (Joel, 2013, p. 3). Current regulations require a master’s or doctoral degree to become a nurse practitioner.
An advanced degree in nursing is an extension of one’s bachelor’s degree (Dracup, 2016). A nurse practitioner is licensed and regulated at the state level.
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Through this organization, the curriculum and evaluation of nurse practitioner programs were standardized (Joel, 2013, p. 14). Now, nurse practitioners can prescribe in all fifty states. However, in 2004, the AACN agreed that a doctoral degree should be required before nurses can practice as nurse practitioners (Joel, 2013, p. 53).
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are many pros and cons to pursuing the master’s degree track to become a nurse practitioner. The goal of moving toward a requirement of a doctoral degree is standardization and further education to understand the ever-changing complexities of health care today. However, current practicing nurse practitioners with master’s degrees have provided excellent care and demonstrate that with great outcomes.
Those who support the doctoral degree requirement feel that the master’s degree preparation is already a very long program and requirements are very similar to the doctoral degree. There is also inconsistency with nurse practitioners compared to other health care professions that require a doctoral degree such as physical therapists and pharmacists. Those who want to eliminate the master’s degree track feel that there is too much information to learn to possibly stay current with the knowledge and findings in health care
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However, there are positive and negative features to a master’s prepared nurse practitioner compared to a nurse practitioner who is prepared with a doctoral degree. The health care community has not reached a consensus. As of right now, those who have goals to one day become a nurse practitioner will have to decide for themselves. The function of this role and the education required has varied throughout the history of this profession. However, the need has remained the same. This is a job that has proved to morph to the needs of society always meeting

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