Most Popular Career Paths for Advanced Practice Nurses

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), such as nurse practitioners, are increasingly working in hospitals, outpatient treatment facilities, communities, nursing homes, and physicians’ offices.

Since a master’s degree is required to become an APRN, candidates for the master’s degree typically hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Widener’s online RN_BSN program offers students the flexibility to advance their careers at an affordable tuition while balancing work and family obligations.

The demand for APRNs is expected to continue to grow due to health care legislation that mandates an emphasis on preventative care. The legislation is largely due to the increasing retirement-age of the Baby Boomer population. This generation is expected to live longer, more active lives than previous generations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions, order tests, prescribe medications and more, depending on the state in which they practice. About 31% more nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners will be employed in 2022 than were in 2012, according to the BLS. The BLS also predicts faster -than-average growth rate for these occupations.

With such a vast number of opportunities, it’s easy for those considering the profession to miss some interesting pathways.

Nurse is among the specialty media that looked at some of the top options for nurses interested in advanced practice. Consider some of those specialties:

Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA): The CRNA works closely with anesthesiologists to administer anesthesia to patients during procedures in hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, doctors’ offices, and other medical facilities. They are often in demand in rural areas. Although nurses have provided anesthesia to patients for more than 150 years, the credential came into existence in 1956, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. These professionals administer about 40 million anesthetics annually in the U.S.
Average salary: $86,000

Psychiatric-Mental health nurse practitioner: An increased demand for mental health services and a shortage of psychiatrists, as reported by Forbes, will likely create extra demand for the psychiatric nurse practitioner in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and clinics. Psychiatric nurse practitioners diagnose mental illness, prescribe medications and often serve as therapists for those with depression, anxiety and related conditions, according to information from Johnson & Johnson.
Average salary: $95,000

Neonatal nurse practitioner: Although many think of neonatal nurse practitioners as caring for premature newborns, they also care for full-term infants and fetuses in the womb. These specialists attend high-risk births and conduct neonatal resuscitation and other highly specialized care and treatment, according to the School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University.
Average salary: $92,000

Pediatric endocrinology nurse practitioner: These nurses treat young patients diagnosed with various endocrine system-related diseases such as diabetes. They also work with the families of the children to facilitate understanding of the disease and treatment. They work closely with their patients’ physicians to develop treatment plans. Many of the patients have been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, so educating the patients and their families about the disease and lifestyle options is a large part of these nurses’ roles, according to Johnson & Johnson.
Average salary: $116,000

Orthopedic nurse practitioner: These health care specialists work with patients who have arthritis, diabetes, joint condition and other muscular or skeletal conditions. This is a growth specialty. Although musculoskeletal system conditions are the primary reason for disability among middle-aged adults, only about 2% of nurse practitioners specialize in orthopedics or sports medicine, according to
Average salary: $95,000

Adult-Gerontological nurse practitioner: Nurses who work in this specialty are charged with helping older patients manage a host of age-related conditions and illnesses, from memory loss to nutritional deficiencies. Although many think of these specialists as working with the elderly, there is no set age for their patients. These nurses work with any adults who face aging challenges, according to
Average salary; $86,000

General Nurse Practitioner: Patients in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and private care facilities may well encounter GNPs, who are often charged with diagnosing and prescribing medication and treatment in general health care settings. Average salary: $90,000

To learn more about Widener University’s Online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) program, call (844) 386-7321 or complete the request more information form and a Program Manager will contact you right away.

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