How to become a nurse practitioner

How to become a nurse practitioner

It’s an exciting time to become a nurse practitioner. Job demand is up and salaries are rising. The surge in growth is primarily because of the effects of health care legislation, an increased emphasis on preventive care and demand from the growing population of baby boomers for more health care services.


A nurse practitioner’s scope of practice varies from state to state. Nurse practitioners provide and coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty health care. They also monitor patients’ progress and administer care alongside a doctor. Nurse practitioners typically perform the following:
  • Record patient medical histories
  • Prescribe medications
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment
  • Treat chronic diseases or disorders
  • Diagnose medical conditions
  • Educate patients about self-management of illnesses

Average salaries

Nurse practitioners with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can expect to earn approximately $95,350 annually. The job outlook through 2022 is much stronger than average — the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the demand for nurse practitioners to grow by 31% through 2022.

Work environment

Nurse practitioners can work in physicians’ offices, general medical and surgical hospitals, outpatient care centers, nursing care facilities, and universities and colleges. Practitioners normally work less than 40 hours a week, which can include evenings, weekends and night shifts.

College degree

Prepare to take the next step in your nursing career. Spring Arbor University offers an online, CCNE-accredited MSN/NP program with your choice of two tracks: family nurse practitioner and adult gerontology, primary care nurse practitioner.