A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with a master’s degree that acts as a primary care provider or a specialty care provider. These advance practice nurses work closely with physicians to deliver quality health care services to patients. The profession is growing rapidly and has excellent job prospects because nurse practitioners perform many of the tasks normally done by medical doctors at a much lower cost. For example, although there are some restrictions, nurse practitioners can prescribe medicine.
Because it is possible to become a registered nurse with an associate degree, some RNs would need to complete additional educational requirements in order to apply to the master’s programs. People with a non-nursing bachelor degree are also able to become nurse practitioners by completing a master degree in nursing. Certification is required in either case. When starting from scratch it normally takes six years to finish the degree requirements of a nurse practitioner.