As a nurse practitioner, you have a very unique job description. You have all of the skills and abilities of both a registered nurse and a physician— and you can even practice independently in some states. With that being said, you’d be an essential part of any healthcare team no matter where you’re employed. With that being said, here are eight places you’re likely to find employment.
Nursing homes and other types of assisted living facilities employ nurse practitioners, and they’re usually the only advanced medical professionals working at these types of facilities. Some of the most common tasks include:
- Giving physical exams
- Prescribing medications
- Providing vascular interventions
- Treating injuries
Not everyone who needs assistance moves into assisted living, so they may use a home health team instead. Nurse practitioners are also usually the only advanced medical professionals working on a home health team.
Correctional facilities such as county jails and private or federal prisons can also employ nurse practitioners. Because of the nature of these facilities, this can be one of the most dangerous settings for nurse practitioners to work in. However, the majority of nurse practitioners working in correctional facilities don’t report safety as an issue, with turnover rates being very low in these settings. Job duties typically include:
- Assisting with the detoxification process
- Performing examinations
- Prescribing medications
- Treating ill/injured inmates
Hospitals are one of the most common locations where nurse practitioners are employed. Here, as with other locations, they’re considered to be an essential part of a patient care team. Advanced practice nurse practitioners trained in acute care can also work in the emergency department of hospitals. Hospitals and especially emergency rooms are the most fast-paced work locations for nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals.
Nurse practitioners employed in hospice settings work as a part of a team that provides end-of-life care for terminally ill patients. When it comes to hospice care, treatment involves improving the quality of life rather than improving illness. The nature of this job is perfect for nurse practitioners because they are trained in holistic health care, which focuses on physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Nurse practitioners can also find jobs in private practices, and in some states, they can open and operate their own practice. Examples of practices where you can find work as a nurse practitioner include:
- Family Medicine
- Internal Medicine
Because nurse practitioners are able to perform many of the same tasks as physicians, you can also be your patients’ primary care provider.
Whether the rehabilitation center is part of a hospital or nursing home, or even if it’s a freestanding facility, you can also find employment in this type of medical setting. Substance abuse treatment is one of the most popular types of rehab centers, but rehab centers also exist for heart patients and those suffering from a physical injury. Typical duties for nurse practitioners include:
- Assessing and examining patients
- Identifying barriers to treatment
- Implementing care plans
- Prescribing assistive devices to help aid rehabilitation
Urgent care centers are a bridge between hospitals/emergency rooms and primary care physicians. When people are experiencing a health issue that isn’t an emergency, but can’t get an appointment with their primary doctor, they can seek treatment at an urgent care facility. These can be standalone centers, or they can be found in grocery stores, pharmacies, and malls. Most urgent care centers will employ nurse practitioners, as a variety of healthcare professionals are found working here.
Nurse practitioners can also be found working alongside certified school nurses in primary and secondary educational settings, as well as in a university health setting to provide care for students. Some duties in all of these settings include providing:
- Acute care
- Mandated screenings
Keep in mind that you usually have to have an advanced degree in nursing to become employed at a college or university. This advanced degree also allows you to teach students in a BSN program, and possibly an MSN program.
So as you can see, there are many places where you can find employment as a nurse practitioner. Some deciding factors include your degree level and if you practice within a specialty. You’ll also want to consider some of the work environments, as many of these environments are vastly different from one another.