A big question that many recent graduates of nursing school have is this: Should you continue your education and become a nurse practitioner? One can understand why this would be the case. After all, you’ve been in “school mode” for a while already. Then you may have some of your fellow classmates deciding to continue their education. All this in order to earn a higher degree which in turn leads to more income. There are pros and cons to reaching this next level of nursing. Let me go through a few of them right here.

Income

Nurse practitioners (NP’s) will earn substantially more money than registered nurses. An NP can make about $80,000 while an RN will earn about $50,000. However in order to get this higher level of income NPs must stay in school in order to earn their masters degree. By staying in school they will accrue more student loan debt. Not only that but they will not earn any money during the years they stay in school while RN’s will earn income right after finishing nursing school.

School

Nurse practitioners will need to go to school for a few more years. After attending nursing school for several years many nurses are sick of it and are just ready to start working. On the other hand, some nursing students may have enjoyed the experience of nursing school and want to continue their education. Money is a factor here as well. If a nursing school graduate needs the money or is in debt they will likely want to start working as an RN immediately rather than wait for the financial rewards that an NP can receive.

One solution for those that are working is to continue their education in an online program that will allow you to work at your own pace.

Hours

NP’s have different work hours than RN’s. Typically, a registered nurse will work 12 hour shifts three days per week. NP’s on the other hand will work 8 hours per day five days a week. Many prefer to work just three days per week, as that will allow them to spend more time with their family.

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