Differences Between Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners
In this article we give a comprehensive detail explanation about differences between a registered nurse and nurse practitioner, the details will simply give you an good understanding about this topic.
Roles and Responsibilities
Although both registered nurses and nurse practitioners focus on patient observation and care, the largest difference between the two roles is that NPs are permitted to prescribe treatments, order tests, and diagnose patients—duties normally performed by physicians—whereas RNs are not. Registered nurses, on the other hand, usually work under a physician who determines patient care, diagnoses, and follow-up.
On the other hand Nurse practitioners have greater autonomy and responsibility due to their advanced education, training, and experience.
This means that the primary difference between registered nurses and nurse practitioners, from a responsibility perspective is:
Training and Education
The amount of training and education required to become a nurse practitioner is different from that of a registered nurse.
In order to become a registered nurse, you must earn a degree from an accredited program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). You must then apply for state licensure.
Which degree will fulfill the requirements varies by state; some require only an associate’s degree, while others require a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). Even so, bachelor’s degrees are becoming the more common requirement across the country and among employers, so that is typically the recommended entry point if you wish to become an RN.
Registered nurses need a bachelor’s degree in nursing, to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), and to obtain a state licensure to get started in the medical field.
While Nurse practitioners, on the other hand, must have earned a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) or higher. They must also complete more clinical hours. If you wish to work with a particular patient population, you will also need to complete additional certifications and training as necessary which can be psychiatric, adult geriatric acute care, adult geriatric primary care, pediatric, cardiac, women’s health, oncology and neonatal nurse practitioner programs among others
Salary and Job Outlook
You may be wondering what the average salary options look like for both positions, and if they’re dramatically different, especially because both careers require hard work, college education, clinical training, and certifications.
The good news is that both registered nurses and nurse practitioners enjoy generous salaries and benefits. In 2019, registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $74,000 ($35-36 an hour) per year, and even $93,000+ in the state of Massachusetts.
According to the BLS, nurse practitioners earned an average of $115,800 per year ($55.67 per hour) in 2019 and a median of $125,157 in the state of Massachusetts. NPs tend to earn more than RNs, mostly because their positions require a higher level of education, additional clinical hours and certifications, and often work in private settings.