By ThriveAP Intern and Healthcare Administrator in Training Stephanie Bauer
Going back to school to further your nursing education is a big decision. It requires time, money, and effort. But, most nurses find the result, a nurse practitioner career, is well worth the sacrifices made along the way. Knowing a little bit about how others have made the decision to return to school can help you decide if advancing your nursing education is right for you as well as help you plan ahead for balancing work and an education.
So, we sent Stephanie Bauer on the scene to talk about what goes into the decision to become a nurse practitioner. Stephanie sat down with NP student Lindsey Stein. Lindsey works as a nurse in Orlando, FL and is taking her education up a notch by pursuing a nurse practitioner degree. Here are Lindsey’s insights about her NP decision.
Tell us a little bit about your nursing background and how it led you to pursue your nurse practitioner degree.
I have three years of surgical trauma bedside nursing experience and two years of experience in orthopedic surgery bedside nursing. In my position I end up treating patients of all backgrounds and with a varying degree of medical problems. For example, on the orthopedic side I may care for an infant with congenital problems, then a teen injured in a motor vehicle accident on the trauma side of things, or even an elderly patient recovering from a joint replacement. Since these patients require many different levels of care, I feel like I have a good medical-surgical nursing foundation and am ready to take my education further.
What do you hope to gain by becoming a nurse practitioner?
I hope to have more autonomy working as a nurse practitioner, and of course a higher income! I want to be able to build rapport among my patients and form lifelong relationships helping them improve their health and wellness. One day I may even look into opening my own practice.
I am attending the USF College of Nursing in Tampa, FL. It is a part-time program and will take me about two and-a-half years to complete. I choose the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty because it is broad and gives me the opportunity to work with patients of all ages.
If you were going to give one piece of advice to nurses considering furthering their careers, what would you say?
If I had to give one piece of advice to nurses thinking about becoming NPs, I would say “Do it now, and don’t procrastinate!”. It’s easy to put off going back to school when you are working, but the decision will be well worth it in the end. Knowing you’re going to accomplish something great that will reward you in the future is motivation. That’s how I have looked at my going back to school experience.
Thank you to Lindsey for her valuable advice!
Do you have hesitations about going back to school to become a nurse practitioner?
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