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North Carolina Nurse Practitioners

Career News September 17, 2013

Nurse practitioners are a common sight in hospitals, doctor’s office and other medical establishments. Many states require a master’s degree for NPs, while others do not have a specific requirement, but often, the medical establishments require a master’s for this position whether or not there are specific requirements. In addition to completing the required educational program, there is a requirement that the candidate must be approved by the state in which he or she wants to practice. Each state has different criteria for certification by the states accreditation body.

What is the Difference between a Nurse Practitioner and a Physician’s Assistant?

Many people are confused about the difference between a Nurse Practitioner and a Physician Assistant. However, it’s not that complicated. A physician assistant does not need a health care background, but a Nurse Practitioner needs to have worked in the field, as well as achieved a Master of Science in Nursing degree before they can receive accreditation as a North Carolina nurse practitioner.

Essentially, a Nurse Practitioner is an RN that has more advanced education. This means the individual can generally diagnose and manage common illnesses and chronic diseases. An NP is an important part of the healthcare team, focusing mainly on maintenance, disease prevention and patient education. While they are both able to work with patients on their healthcare problems, a NP has a bit more autonomy in patient care.

North Carolina: Nurse Practitioners at-a-glance

Number of NPs: 3,976

NPs per 100,000 populations: 41

Who governs/grants licenses to NPs: North Carolina Board of Nursing and Board of Medicine

Do you need to be an RN? Yes

Do you need a Master of Science in Nursing to become a NP? Nurses must hold a Master’s degree in a nursing or related field.

Are there other requirements? Yes, Nurses must have 100 hours of continuing education every two years.

How much does a Nurse Practitioner earn in Missouri? $94,000 per year (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, according to the rules from the North Carolina Board of Nursing, a physician must be in direct supervision of nurse practitioners and many only supervise up to three at any one time.

Do NPs need a physician’s supervision to prescribe medication? Yes

Are there drug classifications that NPs cannot prescribe? If so, provide details:

Dosage for prescription drugs from schedules II, IIN, III, and IIIN are limited to a 30 day supply and the prescription for those drugs may not be refilled.

North Carolina: Nurse Practitioner Outlook

The outlook is very bright for those looking to become a nurse practitioner. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate for NPs is expected to be higher than average. As more and more healthcare environments move to a more nurse-centered approach, the need for these highly educated nurses will only increase. An interested individual who has the drive needed to achieve up front and ongoing education should be able to find continued employment as a North Carolina nurse practitioner for many years to come.

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