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Texas Nurse Practitioners

Career News September 18, 2013

Becoming a Texas nurse practitioner is no easy task. It takes dedication and a lot of hard work to earn this title. Nurse practitioners are in demand throughout Texas, but the salary they are paid varies depending on which county they work in.

In order to obtain a practitioner’s license, applicants must pass the National Council Licensure Examination. They must be able to show proof of a nursing degree. Most nurse practitioners earn a Master of Science Nursing. They must continue taking classes in order to keep their license.

Nurse Practitioner vs. Physician Assistant: What’s the Difference?

While they do have a lot in common, there are differences between a nurse practitioner and a physician assistant. The main difference between them is the medical background and training they receive.

Physician assistants are trained in general aspects of medical care while nurse practitioners are trained in different aspects of medical care. Nurse practitioners teach others seeking to become nurse practitioners. They must have a nursing license before they can become a practitioner.

Physician assistants participate in the processes of lab testing, diagnosis and treatment of minor injuries. Many times, they will take on a managerial role. In some hospitals, physician assistants are responsible for supervising technicians. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants specialize in different areas of medicine. For example, a nurse practitioner may specialize in women’s health while physician assistants may specialize in general medicine.

Texas: Nurse Practitioners at-a-glance

Number of NPs: unspecified

NPs per 100,000 populations: unspecified

Who governs/grants licenses to NPs: Texas Board of Nursing

Do you need to be an RN? Yes

Do you need a Master’s of Science in Nursing to become a NP?

Yes, you must have an advanced degree.

Are there other requirements?

Yes, the person must be licensed and must have accumulated at least 400 hours of relevant practice in medicine. They must also participate in a minimum of 20 hours worth of continuing education, and this must be done every two years.

How much can a Nurse Practitioner earn in Texas?

The average salary of a Nurse Practitioner in Texas is $95,000 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?

No, a nurse practitioner in Texas does not need to be supervised by a physician when diagnosing and treating patients.

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

No, nurse practitioners are not required to have a physician supervise them when prescribing medication.

Is there some drug classifications NPs cannot prescribed?

No, there are not any drugs that cannot be prescribed by a nurse practitioner, but they do need to list the name of the physician they work with on any and all prescriptions they write.

Texas: Nurse Practitioner Outlook

In 2010, The Future of Nursing recommended that the areas of medicine a nurse practitioner treats should be expanded upon in order to allow them to provide more effective primary care. Some physicians feel that if the areas of medicine a Nurse Practitioner can work in are expanded, it will result in their services being used excessively.

Research has determined that many patients are more satisfied with the care they received from a nurse practitioner than from a physician. Nurse practitioners have a tendency to stay with patients longer than a physician would stay.

Often a physician will make more money than a nurse practitioner will, even though they are performing the same services. In general, nurse practitioners spend less on primary care because they do not order as many tests as a physician would order.

The medical community is divided on the issue of nurses and primary care services. Only time will tell which side prevails.

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