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GCU Practice of Nursing in The United States Discussion

GCU Practice of Nursing in The United States Discussion

Question Description

I’m working on a health & medical question and need an explanation to help me study.

respond to the following discussion post as a peer. use at least 1 reference and a 150-200 word count.

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)

There are more than 325,000 nurse practitioners licensed in the United States (AANP, 2021). Nurse practitioners can work in a variety of setting and provide direct patient care under the following certifications: family practice, adult gerontology, psychiatric mental health, acute care, pediatrics, women’s health, and neonatal (AANP, 2021).

To become a nurse practitioner, one should have their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited institution. They must pass the (National Center for Licensing Examination (NCLEX) to become a licensed registered nurse as well as meet state requirements. Once licensed, and ideally working as an RN, they can pursue an advanced degree, either a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) to further their education to become a nurse practitioner. As previously mentioned, there are several specialties to choose from. Once they have met the institutional requirements for their chosen degree field, they may sit for the board certification exam of their specialty. The certifying board depends on the specialty. Once they receive board certification, they must apply for state licensure to practice (Nurse Practitioner Schools, 2020). Each state varies on scope of practice, fees, practice hours and criteria. Recertification criteria is dependent on the specialty. For example, in the state of Washington nurse practitioners must hold a valid registered nursing license which must be renewed every year in addition to the advance practice nurse license that is renewed every 2 years. A board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) must be renewed every 5 years. Currently, nurse practitioners do not have to retake board examinations for recertification, but they must complete required practice hours and continuing education requirements at both the state and board certification levels. Depending on the type of work environment additional licensure may be required such as a DEA license to have prescription writing authority for controlled substances, this is renewed every 2 years. Each certification and recertification costs money, which can quickly add up. For example, this year I paid over $1000 to renew my RN license, advanced practice license and DEA license. In my opinion, nurse practitioners should have a very strong nursing background prior to becoming an NP. I rely daily on the years and experience that I had as a bedside nurse in my current work as an NP. Without that experience, this profession would be very difficult, and I would not be as effective as I am. I would like to see a minimum time requirement of practice hours as an RN prior to acceptance into NP programs.


There are two main pathways to becoming a pharmacist, the combined pathway or “0-6 program” and the undergrad pathway. In 0-6 program students apply for a dual degree, undergrad and PharmD degree in a combined program which lasts about 6 years, whereas in the undergrad pathway students first earn their undergraduate degree, sit for the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test) prior to being accepted into a pharmacy program. This pathway typically takes 8 years compared to 6 and has the added stress of taking the PCAT. After successful completion of school and receiving the Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD), many student are placed in residency programs which typically last 2 years and allows for further knowledge and narrowing down of a specialty of focus. To practice as a pharmacist in the U.S. one must past 2 examinations: The North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE). Pharmacists are required to complete 15-30 continuing education hours per renewal period to maintain their license (Peck, 2019).

American Association of Nurse Practitioners [AANP]. (2021). NP fact sheet. AANP.

Nurse Practitioner Schools. (October 27, 2020). How to become a nurse practitioner. Nurse Practitioner Schools.

Peck, Timothy. (2019). How to become a pharmacist: Steps to take from high school. College Vine.

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