Nurse practitioners; registered nurses with advanced training, who can perform many of the tasks and responsibilities traditionally held by doctors, are becoming more and more visible throughout the United States, including Indiana. Many feel that making use of these health care professionals is one of the keys to holding down health care costs, particularly as the American population ages.
Nurse Practitioner vs. Physician Assistant: What’s the Difference?
At first glance, nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants may seem very similar. It is true that they perform many of the same health care functions. However, a nurse practitioner is first an RN and brings that experience and insight to her role as an NP.
The average NP brings ten years of nursing experience to her position as an NP. Conversely, most physicians’ assistants enter the position directly from school.
Indiana: Nurse Practitioners at a Glance
An Indiana Nurse practitioner is an increasingly integral part of the Indiana health care system. If you are considering a career as a nurse practitioner in the Hoosier State, here is a little of what you need to know:
Number of NPs in Indiana: 3,135
NPs per 100,000 populations: 48
Who governs/grants licenses to NPs: The Indiana State Board of Nursing regulates and licenses nurse practitioners in the state of Indiana.
Do you need to be an RN?
No, to practice; Yes, to prescribe.
Do you need a Master of Science in Nursing to become a NP?
No, a Master of Science Nursing degree is not required to become a nurse practitioner in Indiana.
Are there other requirements?
Yes. In order to be licensed, to prescribe medication, a candidate must have an active, unrestricted nursing license, earned a BA or higher nursing degree, and completed a graduate level course in pharmacology. In addition, they must have 30 hours of continuing education within the past two years, attest to the lack of substance abuse or conviction of a felony, and have a collaborative agreement with a licensed Indiana physician.
How much can a Nurse Practitioner earn in Indiana?
Nurse practitioners in Indiana make an average salary of $97,000. (Salaries vary based on the employment setting, geographic location, educational background and years of experience.)
Do NPs need a physician’s supervision for diagnosis and treatment?
Yes, NPs in Indiana must have a collaborative agreement with a physician.
Do NPs need a physician’s supervision to prescribe medication?
Yes, NPs in Indiana are required to have a collaborative agreement with a physician.
Is there some drug classifications NPs cannot prescribed? If so, provide details:
NPs cannot prescribe weight loss drugs in the state of Indiana.
Indiana: Nurse Practitioner Outlook
According to Community Catalyst, an advocate for health care reform, Indiana misses the mark in promoting health care reform, in part because the state fails to make full use of nurse practitioners. As so-called mid-level providers, NPs help keep the cost of health care in check.
What’s the outlook for an Indiana nurse practitioner?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of registered nurses in general is expected to grow by an estimated 26 percent over the next eight years. NPs will likely be increasingly important to the health care system as America experiences a shortage of physicians over the next decade.