This post was originally written by me for the Nurse Practitioner School blog.
Across the United States, this week is National Nurse Practitioner Week. All 205,000 nurse practitioners stand together proudly to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their profession. Only 50 years ago, Dr. Loretta Ford, a public health nurse, established the first nurse practitioner school and broke ground on a new, revolutionary profession.
It all began in the 1950s, when Dr. Ford envisioned a new role for nurses; a role where they could assess, diagnose, and even treat medical conditions on their own. Like a true trailblazer, her vision was a radical one: at that time, nurses could not even use stethoscopes. Fortunately, her idea was just crazy enough to work. In 1965, Dr. Ford and the University of Colorado started the nation’s first nurse practitioner program. This program educated pediatric nurse practitioners with a focus on disease prevention and health promotion. Over the next decade, nurse practitioner schools exploded across the country.
Today, nurse practitioners serve as independently licensed health care providers. They offer an high-quality, cost effective solution to increasing access to healthcare for millions of Americans. There are many reasons why someone might want to become a nurse practitioner: from the intellectual challenge to the ability to save lives. This post outlines five reasons why you might want to pursue a rewarding career as a nurse practitioner.
Continue reading my article on the Nurse Practitioner School blog, and be sure to check out their other useful NP School resources including a great chart comparing nursing doctorate degrees and a page explaining the difference between a RN and NP.