As Healthcare costs skyrocket the demand for more Nurse Practitioners grows. A Nurse Practitioner trains to become an RN but then normally goes on with his or her studies to get a Master's degree in specialized healthcare. An NP can do physical exams and even write prescriptions, thereby helping to alleviate the drastic shortage of physicians throughout the nation. Nurse Practitioners help offer a viable cost-cutting solution in the Healthcare industry as well as more assistance to patients in need, particularly in under-served rural areas. Well-trained NPs can practice in collaboration with physicians or as independent primary practitioners.
Nurse Practitioners may also choose to specialize in a variety of nursing niches, such as:
Nurses looking to further their education to become an NP are typically experienced RNs looking for challenges, career mobility, more responsibility, greater hands-on patient care, and increased salary.
The good news is that Nurse Practitioners are in high demand, so much so that nurses are being offered scholarships and sometimes even loan forgiveness simply as an incentive to continue their education. Have a look at the terrific opportunities at hand.
"prong" of this agency various primary and secondary healthcare professionals qualify, but in nursing only two types—Family Nurse Practitioners and Certified Nurse Midwife students—meets the criteria. This is a popular "scholarship for service rendered" program. In return for valuable scholarship cash you agree to work as a Nurse Practitioner in a federally designated under-served facility for at least 2 years following your graduation. To qualify you must be a U.S. citizen and attending an accredited nursing school full-time.
Nursing schools offer very good incentives that help draw nurses back for graduate and post-graduate studies. You doubtless did loads of research to find the best school to take you this far but you might not know what opportunities exist to help you further your education. Don't overlook this option, explore your school's scholarships—specifically for NPs, as well as those for graduate and doctoral NP students. Also be sure to ask about scholarship funds that are specifically set aside for research and travel, as those expenditures can most assuredly add up.
Professional nursing associations are abundant—one for nearly every imaginable nursing specialty and type of nurse including minorities and even male nurses. To qualify you must be a member. Evaluate all the various scholarships available through your association and consider how others may help you.
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the leading professional membership organization uniting NPs nationally. The AANP Foundation Scholarship Program awards valuable scholarships and grants to Masters-NP and post-graduate NPs, practicing NPs and NPs conducting research. Awards range from $1,000 to $15,000.
The Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation (NPHF) is another remarkable resource for nurses wanting to pursue advanced training.
The NPHF/Procter & Gamble Endowed Scholarship in Community Service is a $1,000 award to one Nurse Practitioner who has displayed an exceptional contribution in the community, at school, or with patients while pursuing their degree.
Another award is the NPHF/Procter & Gamble Endowed Scholarship in Gastroenterology, which gives $1,000 to one NP whose interests and research lie in the field of Gastroenterology.
The NPHF also offers the Astellas Heart Health Through the Ages Award Program to three NP's working particularly with heart health. The three different winners will receive and initial $3,000 (one practicing pediatrics, another working in adult medicine and the third working in geriatrics) and then receive an addition $1,000 after the program is completed. Note that there a stipulation that program must be completed within two years.
The NPHF/Purdue L.P. Pain Management Awards offer 5 recipients studying pain management $3,500 to create research projects that target pain relief. At the completion of the project the winning NPs will receive another $1,500.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is another valuable resource when seeking out funding assistance for nursing scholarships based on everything from ethnicity to the financially disadvantaged.
Nurses Educational Funds is an organization that assists healthcare professionals wishing to continue their education as well. Note that this organization offers financial assistance in a variety of ways and that some funds have certain restrictions while some others do not. This organization also offers quite a few endowment scholarships as well, each with their own individual guidelines and criteria. To be eligible for any NEF funds the applicant must be a registered nurse pursing his/her Master's or Doctoral degree and can be attending school full or part-time. Note also that applicants must be a member of at least one professional nursing association. Here's a link to NEF's Frequently Asked Questions page, which is quite helpful.
Another avenue to pursue for funding exists due to the country's desperate need for adequate healthcare in rural locations. Nurse Practitioners are a terrific solution to help fill the gap in smaller townships across the country. As an incentive to get more NPs out of the city and into the country there are rural healthcare initiatives and rural healthcare offices in various states that offer loan repayment and scholarships for eligible Nurse Practitioners. These programs aim to attract experienced professional primary care RNs that can serve truly disadvantaged communities.
In Illinois the Farm Bureau is one such organization that promotes an annual Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship. These are "scholarship for service" awards in the amount of $2,000. NP students get money to help defray costs and when they graduate they agree to practice as NPs in a rural facility for a minimum of two years.
So as you can see it really is a very good time for nurses to make the added effort to further their career and become Nurse Practitioners. Not only is the need obviously seen throughout the country, there are also numerous organizations and higher education institutions that are just itching to give you money and jobs. With such need and appreciation shown it just makes sense to take your education to the next level, doesn't it?