Using Nursing Skills to Provide Primary Care

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A nurse examining her patient in her office

Career-driven nurses who are interested in taking the next step in their profession may be considering enrollment in a Post-Master’s Certificate (PMC) program. In addition to providing current RNs with enhanced career advancement opportunities, completion of a PMC helps nurses gain specialized knowledge in fields such as pediatrics, family practice, women’s health, psychiatric mental health, adult-gerontology and more.

PMC programs also help to augment other important aptitudes that nurses need to be successful, such as leadership and communication skills, analytical skills, and interpersonal skills. Upon completion of such a program, graduates often find their enhanced nursing skills help them provide exemplary primary care.

PMC Specializations

The online Post-Master’s Certificate programs at Regis College are available to current Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree holders who are interested in becoming a nurse practitioner (NP), and existing NPs who are seeking an additional specialty, enhanced knowledge, and autonomy.

Although many specializations may be available to those interested in enrolling in a post-master’s certificate program. The most popular include pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP), family nurse practitioner (FNP), psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PHMNP), women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP), and adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP).

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)

PNPs are NPs who have advanced education in infant, child, and teen care. As such, developing enhanced interpersonal skills is critical for those who want to provide care to patients in this demographic. PNPs are able to perform medical exams, diagnose and manage chronic illnesses, order tests and procedures, and answer questions about health problems. They work in various settings, including hospitals, physicians’ offices, government agencies, and nurse-led practices.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

FNPs are similar to primary care physicians in that they tend to focus on holistic care. They’re able to treat and diagnose illnesses in populations from newborns to seniors, in addition to being able to assist in minor surgical procedures, conduct examinations, and prescribe medication.
FNPs work in hospitals, privately owned clinics, physicians’ offices, community health organizations, minute clinics, and related settings. Since NPs who choose this specialization work with patients of all ages, completion of a PMC can help them develop the advanced communication skills they’ll need to provide high quality care.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

PMHNPs use their advanced nursing skills to assess, diagnose, manage, and treat mental illness. Completion of advanced education, such as a Regis PMC, will help aspiring PMHNPs grow their analytical acumen, which will help them be successful in this role. Much like FNPs, they’re able to treat various populations, from the very young to the very old.
Those who possess this certification are eligible to work in myriad settings, including hospitals, outpatient facilities, mental health facilities, and correctional facilities.

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

WHNPs have completed advanced training in matters related to women’s health care, including pregnancy, childbirth, family planning, postnatal care, and wellness examinations. Those who complete a WHNP program find they’re able to provide care to women and their children about how to make informed health choices and the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. The ability to interact with women of all ages is paramount for those who choose this specialization. Consequently, having enhanced communication skills will help aspiring WHNPs succeed in that task.
Much like other types of NPs, those with this certification are able to work in many health care settings, including prenatal clinics, women’s prisons, private practices, and OB-GYN clinics.

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)

AGNPs need to develop enhanced interpersonal and professional skills in order to be equipped to meet the needs of the aging population, Professionals who possess this certification are able to counsel patients on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle; diagnose and treat illness; provide preventive care, such as checkups and health risk assessments, and more.
Most AGNPs work in home care agencies, hospice and palliative care centers, and assisted living facilities, although it’s common for them to be employed at specialty clinics, community clinics, veterans hospitals, and other related care facilities.

Nurse Practitioner Earning Potential and Job Growth

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the median annual wage for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners was $107,030 in 2018. The BLS further reported that overall employment in this field is projected to grow by approximately 31% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than growth projections for all other industries. Several factors will contribute to this, including increased health care demand from aging adults along with an increased emphasis on preventive care.

Learn More

Professionals who are interested in developing their nursing skills are likely to find that the online Post-Master’s Certificate programs at Regis College can help them toward that goal. Current nurses can apply without submitting GRE or GMAT scores, and upon enrollment, they’ll be able to complete 100% of their coursework online.

Recommended Reading:
The Primary Care Provider Shortage: 2019 Update
How Does Nursing Influence Health Care Policy?
The Key Traits of an Educated Nurse

Mayo Clinic, Nurse Practitioner
National Center for Biotechnology Information, Critical Thinking: The Development of An Essential Skill for Nursing Students
National Panel for Psychiatric-Mental Health NP Competencies, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Competencies
Regis College, The Difference Between MSN and DNP Degrees
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners