Why a Nurse Practitioner?

Why nurse practitioner vs physician assistant vs certified registered nurse anesthetist?

The decision to become a nurse practitioner was one that did not happen overnight.  I won't bore you with the details but I'll give you the abbreviated version.  

I quickly ruled out PA school because I was already a nurse and a master's in nursing seemed like the more logical route.  I have nothing against the PA profession.  I know that both NP's and PA's make a valuable contribution to healthcare.  

What I did consider for several years was the decision between CRNA vs NP.  After talking with both CRNA's and NP's I was still torn because everyone I spoke with was satisfied with their profession. I shadowed a CRNA for a day at a busy hospital in Philadelphia and even though what she did was interesting, I just wasn't excited at the thought of working in an operating room all day.  I realize that CRNA's also work in outpatient settings but administering anesthesia all day still was not appealing.   I wanted to contribute to healthcare in a different way.  So, the decision to become a nurse practitioner was made partly by the process of elimination.  

I am excited about becoming a nurse practitioner for several reasons:

1.  I can work in a variety of settings: inpatient or outpatient and in a variety of specialties such as neuro, trauma, cardiac, nephrology, and the list goes on and on.....

2.  I can become an educator in my profession and if I'm crazy enough, perhaps I'll pursue a PhD.

3.  I enjoy interacting with patients and their family members.  Hard to believe, I know-- but for the most part I do enjoy helping people, especially during a stressful time such as a hospitalization.  I hope that I can take the time with my patients to help them better understand their diagnosis and the treatments. 

So, there you have it, that is how I decided NP school was the right choice for me-- the shortened version.

How about you?  Are you still deciding?  If you are a NP, how did you know that that the was the best fit for you?

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