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MCPHS Nursing Student in the Lab.
Career Development | 4/10/2024

Why Do You Want To Be a Nurse Practitioner? Exploring Motivations and Career Advantages

MCPHS Nursing Student in the Lab.

Why do you want to be a nurse practitioner? Learn about this rewarding career and how the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences can prepare you for it.

If you're interested in a career in nursing, there are many specialized roles within this in-demand field. In this article, we'll focus on the nurse practitioner (NP) position, what it entails, how the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) prepares you for this role, and why it's a rewarding career.

What Is a Nurse Practitioner?

An NP is a nurse with advanced clinical education and training, which means they're capable of addressing a wider variety of human needs without physician oversight. NPs are also able to establish and operate a private nursing practice. 

NP responsibilities include:

  • Order and perform diagnostic tests, such as labs and X-rays
  • Manage overall patient care
  • Counseling
  • Educating patients and their families on disease prevention and positive health choices
  • Diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions
  • Prescribe medication and other treatments

NPs are critical to a healthy society. Not only do these medical professionals serve as mentors, educators, researchers, and administrators in their communities, but they also help lower patient healthcare costs. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners states that the quality of care and counseling NPs provide can lead to fewer emergency room visits, shorter hospital stays, and reduced medication costs for patients under their care. 

NP Education Options

If the NP role sounds appealing, MCPHS offers several nurse practitioner degrees.

Undergraduate Options

Family Nurse Practitioner Bridge Program - (RN to MSN)

Through the Family Nurse Practitioner Bridge Program - (RN to MSN), students can build on their associate’s degree without needing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This allows a smooth transition from undergraduate to graduate-level coursework. The three-year, part-time program offers clinical experience as students expand their collegiate nursing education. They widen their understanding of the professional nursing industry and move from the bridge program into the MSN-FNP portion of their study, ultimately allowing them to sit for the Family Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Exam upon completion. 

Graduate Options

Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner

A Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program is a 24-month, part-time course of study that provides students the flexibility to work while earning a nursing diploma. Like the Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Postbaccalaureate program, the Master of Science in Nursing - FNP path offers students the opportunity to advance their bachelor’s degree with a specialty in family nursing. Students become advanced practice registered nurses who are trained to provide comprehensive healthcare services to individuals and families across a range of ages. From delivering primary patient care services to diagnosing and treating a variety of health care concerns, nursing students learn more about what it takes to become an FNP. 

Master of Science in Nursing - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

A Master of Science in Nursing - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program allows learners to achieve a specialty in psychiatric mental health in just 24 months. This part-time, online program helps nursing students build a firm, foundational knowledge of dementia, depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric conditions. Students also dive into the doctor-patient relationship and learn about counseling best practices. After two years, learners are eligible to sit for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification. 

8 Benefits of Becoming a Nurse Practitioner

1. High Demand and Great Job Outlook

People will always need medical attention, and NP job opportunities appear especially robust. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 28% job growth through 2028 for NPs. This is the fastest increase among all nursing roles.

2. Flexible Work Hours

While your hours may become more pliable further into your career, NPs can generally choose schedules that allow for good work-life balance. Even though many medical-related jobs are extremely demanding, NPs have more control over organizing their days compared to other professionals. 

3. Competitive Pay

NPs receive competitive compensation for their work, giving them the means to meet their needs and live comfortably. Your salary will ultimately depend on your location and job setting, but on average, NPs make about $258,230, according to the BLS. 

4. Continual Learning Opportunities 

The healthcare field is constantly evolving and changing to adapt to new technology and meet patient demands. As an NP, you’ll have the chance to learn and grow with the industry, staying up to date with current trends and the latest medical advancements and best practices. You’ll also work alongside other talented individuals you can learn from.

Over time, you may have the opportunity to act as a mentor and teacher to newer nurses when they enter the workforce.

5. Gain Professional Responsibility

Patients place their trust in medical professionals. In the NP role, you're responsible for assessing patients, ordering diagnostic tests, making diagnoses, and developing treatment plans without the supervision of a superior healthcare professional. This level of responsibility and autonomy can be professionally fulfilling and rewarding. 

6. Patient-Centered Care

NPs are trained to provide patient-focused care that’s both holistic and personalized to meet each individual’s treatment needs. This approach allows NPs to create strong relationships with those they serve and make a positive impact on their health and well-being. 

7. Diverse Career Options

With deep knowledge of the nursing field, NPs are equipped to work in a variety of healthcare settings. From hospitals, independent practitioners, and primary care clinics to specialty clinics and schools, NPs can find a niche that aligns with their specific interests and skills. 

8. Contribute to Healthcare Access

In some areas, people have a difficult time finding affordable and accessible medical attention. NPs play a crucial role in improving healthcare access, especially in areas with shortages of primary care providers. Not only are they able to lower the costs of overall medical bills and medication prices, but they can bridge the gap between providing primary and preventive care services to those who need it. 

Get Career Ready

MCPHS offers a breadth of healthcare programs, earning it the title of the most comprehensive healthcare university. Based in the Boston region, our collegiate nursing education offers students extensive clinical opportunities in prestigious medical facilities and clinics. We’ve been in operation for 200 years and our staff and professors have the experience and industry knowledge to provide top-tier education and high-quality campus life. 

Apply to join the thousands of MCPHS alumni who are currently changing the world one healthcare career at a time.