Masters in Nursing Adult Nurse Practitioner
This is one of the most common specializations for students enrolled in a nurse practitioner program. There are several adult nurse practitioner programs available online now, offered by traditional nursing schools and by professional schools that have been accredited for their nurse practitioner program. Adult nurse practitioners and family nurse practitioners are the most popular choices for MSN students enrolled in a NP program; these options are similar to the physician specialization in general practice or internist. An adult nurse practitioner may work alongside a group of physicians in a medical practice or may even open a solo practice, working out of a small office and offering medical services to their own roster of patients. Nurse practitioners have become so similar to physicians in their career roles that the degree will be converted to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) by 2015.
The curriculum for a Master of Nursing Adult Nurse Practitioner program includes classes in a range of healthcare related topics. As with almost all advanced practice nursing program there will likely be a course in statistics and a course in epidemiology. Health policy and the finance or economics of healthcare are two other topics that most adult nurse practitioner programs address. In the second half of the program, coursework in research methods will put the early studies in statistics to work. There is usually a course in pharmacology and a course in intervention, which addresses the nature of patient or family intervention across the lifespan. This training is about verbal and personal skills rather than medical abilities.
The practicum for a good Master of Nursing Adult Nurse Practitioner program will probably run to about 500 hours. All MSN programs require that their applicants be RNs with an active license, so finding an acceptable opportunity for clinical hours is not as difficult as it might be for someone just entering the field. Many nurses find practicum opportunities through their employer or through a physician with whom they have had contact. The relative ease of practicum establishment and management is the reason that more nursing schools have become comfortable offering this degree online.