RN vs NP (2022): What You Should Know About Them?

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    Welcome to another exciting and informational article comparing registered nurses with nurse practitioners.

    At the end of this article, you will learn the similarities and differences between RN and NP, their scopes of practice, the salary differences, how to choose between the two careers, and lots more.

    This article discusses the following and more:

    RN vs NP – Overview
    Roles and Responsibilities
    Training and Education Requirements
    Licensure and Certification
    Salary and Job Outlook

    Let’s begin!

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      RN vs NP – Overview

      Suppose you’re considering a career as a nurse.

      In that case, you’ll be pleased to learn that it offers stable employment, competitive pay, and the enormous satisfaction of knowing that you’ve made a positive difference in the lives of your patients.

      It’s crucial to remember that there are a variety of prospective career paths and job titles to consider, each with its own set of educational and training requirements.

      Registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners are two nursing vocations that are frequently compared (NPs).

      Roles and Responsibilities

      Both RNs and NPs have the flexibility to specialize and operate in various settings.

      ICU nurse, NICU nurse, and Med-Surg nurse are the most prevalent RN positions.

      Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, Family Nurse practitioners (FNP), and Neonatal Nurse Practitioners are the most prevalent NP jobs.

      In medical environments such as hospitals, urgent care clinics, and long-term care institutions, RNs and NPs help patients.

      Both communicate directly with patients and their families in both positions.

      RNs, on the other hand, are more likely to work in a variety of settings than NPs.

      Most nurse practitioners operate in a clinical setting; however, some registered nurses work aboard cruise ships.

      The particular job activities performed by registered nurses daily vary significantly depending on their jurisdiction, the size of their team, and the demographic they serve.

      Still, one thing remains constant: no two days are ever the same.

      The primary responsibility of a registered nurse is to assess patients, determine their urgent requirements, and implement a medical plan.

      As a result, RNs spend a lot of their time doing things like:

      • Observing and evaluating patients
      • Taking meticulous notes on the patient’s medical history and symptoms
      • Prescription drugs, IV treatments, and other treatments are administered and monitored for adverse effects and reactions
      • collaborating with the medical team to develop, implement, and evaluate patient care plans
      • Cleaning and replacing bandages are examples of wound care
      • Blood, urine samples, and other bodily fluids are drawn for lab work
      • Patients and their families explain treatment and care plans for injuries, diseases, and illnesses
      • Nursing assistants, students, and licensed practical and vocational nurses are all under the supervision of an RN
      Nurse Practitioner 1

      Nurse practitioners, like registered nurses, work closely with patients to monitor their health and offer medical care, although their tasks vary based on their location, facility, and field.

      NPs are typically responsible for the following tasks:

      • Keeping track of patients’ medical histories and symptoms, as well as ensuring that medical records are correct to provide diagnoses
      • Patients’ information and samples are being collected
      • Examining patients regularly and in detail
      • Observing patients and evaluating medical and test results
      • Creating personalized treatment regimens and referring patients
      • Medication prescriptions and results monitoring
      • Ordering diagnostic tests and operating medical equipment are two of the most common tasks
      • Supervising nurses and other members of the workforce
      • Working with other healthcare professionals to share information, develop treatment strategies, and diagnose patients
      • Pediatrics, geriatrics, hospitals, managed care facilities, government organizations, family practice, private care, emergency room care, and university faculty are all common specialties for nurse practitioners.

      Training and Education Requirements

      The amount of education and training needed to become a nurse practitioner differs from that required to become a registered nurse.

      You must receive a degree from a recognized program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination to become a registered nurse (NCLEX).

      After that, you must apply for state licensure.

      The degree that will satisfy the criteria varies by state; some states require an associate’s degree, while others demand a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN).

      Even yet, bachelor’s degrees are becoming a more prevalent requirement across the country and among employers, so if you want to be an RN, that is normally the preferred entry point.

      To enter the medical industry, registered nurses must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), and acquire a state license.

      On the other hand, nurse practitioners need a master of science in nursing (MSN) or, better still, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree to practice.

      They’ll also have to put in additional clinical hours.

      In addition, if you want to work with a certain patient demographic, you’ll need to obtain the required credentials and training.

      Licensure and Certification

      The distinction between nurse practitioners and registered nurses may be much more pronounced depending on the state licensure and certification requirements.

      The Board of Nursing oversees the certification and licensure of registered nurses in most states.

      However, other regulating agencies in other states manage the licensing of their nurses.

      After completing a recognized nursing program, registered nurses must take and pass the NCLEX-RN certification exam.

      Finally, they apply for a nursing license from their state board of nursing.

      Nurse practitioners must first be licensed as registered nurses with a valid license.

      Then, they are enrolled in a graduate nursing program that is accredited.

      Finally, they will sit on boards with the certifying organization of their specialization after completing their MSN.

      The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) exam, for example, is administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

      RN vs NP – Salary

      Registered nurses and nurse practitioners earn a lot of money and benefits.

      For example, registered nurses made a median annual salary of $74,000 ($35-36 an hour) in 2019, with other states paying as much as $93,000.

      BLS (the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) reports that Massachusetts NPs earned an average of $115,800 per year ($55.67 per hour) in 2019 and a median of $125,157.

      NPs make more than RNs, owing to their higher level of education, greater clinical experience, and certifications, and they often operate in private settings.

      Of course, your geographic region, educational level, work environment, and medical specialty determine the pay for either employment.

      The table below shows the salary (as of February 2021) of RNs and NPs by state reported by the BLS.

      State

      RN

      Nurse Practitioner

      Alabama

      $60,230

      $99,570

      Alaska

      $90,500

      $115,890

      Arizona

      $78,330

      $111,480

      Arkansas

      $61,330

      $105,840

      California

      $113,240

      $138,660

      Colorado

      $76,230

      $106,760

      Connecticut

      $83,440

      $115,140

      Delaware

      $74,100

      $112,430

      Florida

      $67,610

      $101,510

      Georgia

      $69,590

      $105,670

      Guam

      $58,070

      $72,970

      Hawaii

      $104,060

      $124,000

      Idaho

      $69,480

      $110,860

      Illinois

      $73,510

      $107,860

      Indiana

      $66,560

      $106,380

      Iowa

      $60,590

      $109,910

      Kansas

      $62,450

      $100,550

      Kentucky

      $63,750

      $99,560

      Louisiana

      $65,850

      $106,240

      Maine

      $69,760

      $106,960

      Maryland

      $77,910

      $111,800

      Massachusetts

      $93,160

      $122,240

      Michigan

      $73,200

      $108,660

      Minnesota

      $80,130

      $122,850

      Mississippi

      $59,750

      $110,740

      Missouri

      $64,160

      $105,050

      Montana

      $69,340

      $109,120

      Nebraska

      $66,640

      $105,450

      Nevada

      $88,380

      $115,970

      New Hampshire

      $73,880

      $110,680

      New Jersey

      $84,280

      $123,810

      New Mexico

      $73,300

      $111,930

      New York

      $87,840

      $122,550

      North Carolina

      $66,440

      $105,890

      North Dakota

      $66,290

      $110,950

      Ohio

      $68,220

      $103,780

      Oklahoma

      $64,800

      $113,200

      Oregon

      $92,960

      $113,430

      Pennsylvania

      $71,410

      $101,950

      Puerto Rico

      $35,040

      N/A

      Rhode Island

      $82,310

      $115,310

      South Carolina

      $64,840

      $100,680

      South Dakota

      $59,540

      $102,230

      Tennessee

      $62,570

      $96,510

      Texas

      $74,540

      $115,440

      Utah

      $67,970

      $105,240

      Vermont

      $70,240

      $105,840

      Virgin Islands

      $68,500

      N/A

      Virginia

      $71,870

      $109,110

      Washington

      $86,170

      $126,920

      Washington, D.C

      $94,820

      $111,950

      West Virginia

      $63,220

      $103,170

      Wisconsin

      $72,610

      $112,130

      Wyoming

      $68,690

      $118,110

      Job Outlook for RN vs NP

      A large number of employment vacancies exist.

      As a result, nurse practitioners and registered nurses have excellent work prospects.

      On the other hand, the field of NP has grown considerably in the recent decade and is expected to continue to expand.

      In addition, an aging population brings retired professionals, nurses, and older patients with more complex medical demands.

      Thus, it’s easy to see why nurses and nurse practitioners demand more than the national average.

      NPs, on the other hand, have the advantage of being able to operate as primary care providers in many cases.

      By 2030, all baby boomer physicians will be over 65, and physicians’ average retirement age will be 66.

      With more primary care physicians retiring and younger doctors preferring to specialize, NPs will have a lot of possibilities to fill these roles.

      Choosing the right Path

      Both RNs and NPs have advantages and disadvantages.

      Despite the higher compensation, the nurse practitioner role carries additional responsibility and, in certain cases, complete autonomy.

      Nurses who have additional responsibilities are more likely to experience burnout.

      As a result, the registered nursing role may appear less stressful.

      Some people, on the other hand, flourish in higher-level leadership positions.

      But, again, it is dependent on the individual.

      An RN may be the way to go if you want to keep a more human connection with your patients.

      On the other hand, NP could be a better fit if you want a more in-depth understanding of healthcare practices.

      It’s also unnecessary to make the choices straight after graduating from nursing school.

      Many nursing graduates work as RNs for years before returning to school to pursue their dream of becoming nurse practitioners.

      Conclusion

      Although registered nurses and nurse practitioners are responsible for patient monitoring and care, the most significant distinction between the two roles is that NPs can prescribe treatments, order tests, and diagnose patients, while RNs are not.

      On the other hand, Registered nurses normally work under the supervision of a physician who is responsible for the patient’s care, diagnosis, and follow-up.

      So, in terms of duty, the primary distinction between registered nurses and nurse practitioners is that nurse practitioners have more autonomy and responsibility due to their advanced education, training, and experience.

      A nurse practitioner can practice independently in the state of Massachusetts.

      Consequently, they can act as a primary care provider without the supervision of a physician.

      Such duties cover things like writing, prescribing drugs, and ordering tests.

      In addition, NPs oversee a panel of patients in primary care, making referrals, coordinating with specialists, and taking full responsibility for the patient.

      FAQs

      References

      Between RNs and NPs

      RN vs NP – Job and Salary

      RN vs NP – Salary By State

      Job Outlook For RNs and NPs

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