A Nurse Practitioner, or NP, is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse who has completed a graduate-level education that usually involves earning a master’s degree, and in some cases a PhD. All nurse practitioners must take and complete the same exam as registered nurses and are often asked to take an another exam later specifically for NP certification in their state. There are also many specialties offered as a nurse practitioner such as family medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, and others.
With loads of educational requirements and a dedication and responsibility to patients, it can all be overwhelming for existing and studying nurse practitioners. However, there are literally over 100,000 other nurse practitioners out there, many of which share their wisdom over the web. To keep time spent researching them all down, we have collected the below 30 must read web resources for nurse practitioners. They are essential for students, practicing nurses, and even patients who want to know more about the people caring for them.
Must-Read Web General Resources for Nurse Practitioners
Learn about all aspects of nurse practitioners with these helpful reads.
- What is a Nurse Practitioner?
Start here to learn the basics of becoming and being a nurse practitioner. The American College of Nurse Practitioners offers this read on what an NP does, along with a more detailed PDF on the subject. Their site also has other valuable reads such as the benefits of an ACNP certification and scholarship information.
- Nurse Practitioner Preparation
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners is the go to agency for NP’s. With 26 years and counting of representing nurse practitioners, their site is a must visit. In this section, they have resources on what it takes to prepare for a career including resources for everyone from students to nurse practitioners at the doctorate level. You can also use them to search for approved NP programs by state or specialty.
- Nurse Practitioner Forum
The discussion boards at All Nurses have loads of people stopping in to ask and answer questions. With a special board for NP’s, little discussed topics such as how to become an NP with no experience and if you need a doctorate degree to become a nurse practitioner are discussed. The main site also has more for nurses.
- Salary for Nurse Practitioners
Because they don’t call it the bottom line for nothing, click here. The experts at Payscale.com keep up to date salary information on loads of professions, including nurse practitioners. The current average salary range is from $71,028 to $91,692. You can also search by specialty, location, or even view openings for NP jobs.
- NCLEX Exam
This exam is a must for nurses at any level. Similar to what the MCAT is for doctors, the NCLEX is a requirement for anyone looking for a nursing or nurse practitioner license. This must read from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing has information for students, educators, and researchers.
- The Future of Nurse Practitioners
With the passage of the Affordable Health Act, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians by 2020. In 2008, there were an estimated 158,348 certified nurse practitioners, an increase from 141,209 in 2004, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To help fill in the gap, more nurse practitioners will be needed and the SF Gate predicts that electronic health records will play a big part.
- US Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Law
As the saying goes, “with greater power comes greater responsibility.” Many nurse practitioners are licensed to prescribe medications and are therefore required to adhere to local laws. Check out this guide to see a brief summary of NP prescribing laws by state.
- Drug Interactions Checker
Although no web resource can replace an actual education, this is the next best thing. Provided by Drugs.com, they explain the mechanism of each drug interaction, the level of significance of the interaction (major, moderate or minor), and in certain cases, can provide the recommended course of action to manage the interaction. There are terms to agree to before using the drug interactions checker.
- Nurse Practitioner License Requirements by State
Although most nurse practitioners are required to have a qualifying master’s degree and then pass a licensing exam, each state is different. Visit this interactive map from Medscape Today to look up the requirements by state you wish to practice in. Although it has been updated, it is important to double check with your state board to make sure the information is as current as possible.
- License Search for Nurses
In a sort of reverse of the above, use this tool to look up a nursing license. You can look up by name or even license number. Information is constantly being updated, and you can even look up other medical licenses such as midwife.
Must-Read Web Organization Resources for Nurse Practitioners
These organizations have more on nurse practitioners.
- American College of Nurse Practitioners
The ACNP is a national, non-profit membership organization whose mission is to ensure a solid policy and regulatory foundation that enables NP’s to continue providing high quality healthcare. Their membership structure consists of both individual nurse practitioners as well as national and state NP organizations. You can also read research, resources, and even a section just for students online.
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Formed in 1985, the AANP was formed to provide a way for nurse practitioners to network and have a voice of advocacy. As the largest and only full-service national professional membership organization for NPs of all specialties, the AANP represents the interests of the more than 135,000. They also have research/education sections along with publications which can be read online.
- American Nurses Credentialing Center
The ANCC is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organizations and a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. They offer many specialties, including nurse practitioner. They also have more on accredited nurse programs, certification, and continuing education.
- National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
They are devoted to promoting quality nurse practitioner education at the national and international levels. Starting in 1974 as a small group of educators meeting to develop the first NP curriculum guidelines, NONPF has evolved as an organization for NP faculty sharing the commitment of excellence in education. There are also educational resources and announcements, along with an Ask NONPF, a column where they respond to questions.
- Nursing Center
The Professional Topics section alone is worth a visit. You can get career articles, a guide to certification, and even how to get a license. Other worthy reads include clinical topics, journals, and even a blog.
- National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Visit here to learn more on the specialty of NP’s that focus on younger patients. They have loads of news featured on the feed, as well as instructional videos for patients and nurse practitioners. You can also use it to find a chapter in your area.
- The American Journal of Nursing
You don’t need a subscription to this publication to read the many articles they feature online or as a PDF. There are also podcasts for nurses available for the listening. Most viewed articles include a step by step to an evidence based practice and improving communication among nurses, patients, and physicians.
- The Journal for Nurse Practitioners
Similar to the above, this is another publication for nurses but specifically for nurse practitioners. You can also read many articles online or as a PDF. There are topic collections from respiratory health to mental health, and you can even request a free subscription.
- National Institute of Nursing Research
Part of the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services, they have loads of must read resources for nursing research. You can get highlights, news, information, and even guides to funding. There is also a section for training opportunities for early career and established scientists in nursing.
- American Nurse Association
Finally, there is the ANA. All nurses can utilize the organization’s site for learning more about nursing education, ethics, continuing education, certifications, and more. They also have educational videos and many sub-organizations that specialize in special types of nursing.
Must-Read Blog Resources for Nurse Practitioners
These blogs are authored by medical professionals and even nurse practitioners and contain loads of must read advice.
- Is There Room for Dr. Nurse?
Because NP’s are expected to fill the gap in healthcare, what do medical doctors think about this? In a response to the ACP Advocate Blog, the Happy Hospitalist describes what the difference between an NP and an MD is. The difference in training is the biggest item, and you can find much more on the blog.
- 10 Free Online Tools for Nurse Practitioners
Stephen is a family nurse practitioner from New York. His blog highlights issues, trends, and policies affecting nurse practitioners. In this post, many online resources and even tools for the NP are highlighted and described.
- Sign Language
Are you one of the many Americans who do not know a second language? Chances are so don’t many of your patients and you as a nurse practitioner will be left to play a game of sign language. In this blog entry, the anonymous Northern California blogger describes what they do to communicate with patients who speak little to no English.
- 9 Tips for Interviewing and Hiring the Best Candidates for Your Practice
The Nurse Practitioner Blog is a must read for those who ever wish to go into their own practice or are already there. Barbara C. Phillips does an excellent job of showing the view from the top with loads of tips and recommendations. This blog post is also a good web resource either for those who are doing the hiring as well as those applying for nursing jobs.
- Second Degree Nursing
Because a career as a nurse practitioner requires a second degree, and in some cases a third or fourth, check out this blog entry. Nurse Teeny shares what it takes to become a nurse and includes eight myths on nurses seeking a second degree. They include items on experience, education, and ego.
- Top Ten Reasons – Nursing Humor
If all of this serious reading has got you down, stop here. It is a database of top ten lists specifically for those in the nursing field. They include most common nursing phrases, reasons for going into nursing, and more.
- Ninety Nine
The blog “What School Doesn’t Teach About Being a Nurse Practitioner” does just that. In this entry, she relates why it is important to write down a patient history and how. The blog entry title is in reference to a term the patient couldn’t say and why.
- Why Nurse Stereotypes are Bad for Health
There are many depictions of nurses on screen that can be entertaining but misleading. Check out this reprint of Theresa Brown’s post on how nurses are viewed and how it can affect the health of the patient. The blogger at Career Male Nurse also has more.
- The Last Minute of Life
Because all healthcare professionals deal with death at some point or another, check out this blog post. Written by Midwife for the End-of-Life, it describes in detail what to expect. Melaina also has many nursing credentials and knowledge of the field.
Although the above 30 must read web resources for nurse practitioners has loads of good and free advice, please consult your own physician before making changes to a health or medication plan. When seeking a nurse practitioner education, research your own state board to see what the requirements are as well as which schools are accredited to teach in the field of nurse practitioner.