Nurse Practitioners are a senior type of practice nurse, who assist on all levels of patient care, usually within a GP surgery – they are able to diagnose and (often) prescribe treatment.
Their role is also educational – they must educate their patients about the importance of prevention rather than cure, and how to effectively carry out their prescribed treatments.
On top of this, Nurse Practitioners often carry our physical examinations, patient consultations, as well as leading the Nursing team within a given practice. They are a GPs first point of call in many cases for assistance, and can help to ease the workload on GPs and Registrars at extremely busy times.
Salary & benefits
Salaries for nursing professionals are fixed in accordance with NHS wage bands.
A nurse practitioner can earn anywhere between £14,000 and £40,000 per year depending on their hours, seniority, location and whether they’re involved in management or not, with the UK average being around £28,000 per year.
Whilst most Nurse Practitioners in GP surgeries work your standard five-day-week, they’re often expected to work long hours (often until eight at night) and specialist clinics (like Flu Clinics) sometimes take place on weekends as well.
With the current changes being proposed to the NHS, you might soon see Nurse Practitioners working on weekends before too long.
You have to work your way up the ranks to become a Nurse Practitioner, so let’s begin at the beginning. In order to register and become a part of the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) you must first obtain a degree in pre-registration nursing.
It is only when this qualification is completed that you can do further studying to become a practice nurse, and then more advanced roles become available, including becoming a Nurse Practitioner.
Training & progression
Once you’ve completed your training and become a member of the NMC, you need to get into working and putting those skills to use. Your NMC registration is checked and then renewed once every three if you are still efficiently doing your job.
Once you have the experience and relevant background, you then need to study another degree to become a fully qualified Nurse Practitioner. This degree will include training in consultations, assessment of physical conditions, diagnosis, and often prescribing, allowing you to take on the extended responsibilities associated with the Nurse Practitioner’s role.