Nurse Practitioner

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner with a Non-Nursing Degree?

Have you ever considered a healthcare career, but your path has taken a different turn? Don’t worry; transitioning to becoming a nurse practitioner is still doable! This article will guide you through the incumbent steps to achieve this goal, even with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. We’ll explore what nurse practitioners do, the skills they need, and a detailed five-step plan to get you started on your journey.

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A nurse practitioner is a type of advanced nurse with specialized training. Similar to other nurses, they equip primary care but can also diagnose and treat a broader range of conditions. The level of supervision they require can vary by location. Moreover, many nurse practitioners gist on a specific area of healthcare, like family practice or pediatrics.

What does a nurse practitioner do?

Nurse practitioners, similar to other types of nurses, deliver essential patient care but are also equipped with the skills and authorization to provide more advanced health care services. Their roles can differ based on their area of medical specialization. However, key responsibilities include conducting physical exams to check significant organs like the heart and lungs, diagnosing medical issues, and developing tailored treatment plans.

They are authorized to prescribe medications and assess the results from various health care tests, such as analyzing blood samples. Additionally, nurse practitioners are tasked with maintaining detailed medical records for each patient, offering personalized advice and resources to promote overall health and wellness, and performing basic care tasks, like assisting patients with mobility or meal times. They also frequently collaborate with physicians, other nurses, and medical experts to ensure comprehensive care.

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner with a Non-Nursing Bachelor’s Degree?

While some healthcare professionals can transition to becoming nurse practitioners (NPs) even with a degree in a different field, additional schooling, work experience, and licensing are necessary. To guide you through this process, here are five steps to becoming a nurse practitioner with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree:

  • Receive a master’s in nursing
  • Get a nursing license
  • Work as a nurse
  • Get a nurse practitioner certificate
  • Acquire an advanced nursing license

Receive a Master’s in Nursing

Apply and register for a Master of Science in Nursing program. The application process and requirements will deviate depending on the school and specific program, but commonly, applicants must prepare a personal statement detailing their motivation for pursuing an MSN, as well as academic transcripts and recommendation letters.

Those looking to become nurse practitioners have various MSN program options to consider, including bridge, accelerated, and online formats. For individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing, the direct entry MSN program is often the preferred route. These programs, typically extending over four years, are designed to accommodate those transitioning from non-nursing disciplines by equipping the necessary foundational and advanced nursing coursework.

In a direct-entry MSN program, the initial two years usually focus on completing prerequisite courses, possibly covering advanced sciences not taken during prior undergraduate studies. The subsequent two years are generally dedicated to nursing-specific classes, preparing students comprehensively for a career in nursing.

Get a Nursing License

Earning a Master’s in Nursing qualifies you for registered nurse licensure, a more advanced step than a licensed practical nurse license. Both RNs and LPNs equip primary patient care.

However, RNs have more responsibilities. In addition, they can give medications and enkindle remedy plans, but they still answer to a doctor. Therefore, if you have a bachelor’s degree in something other than nursing and want to become a nurse practitioner, getting your RN license is a good array. Additionally, it gives you more independence as a nurse and succour concocts you for the advanced role of a nurse practitioner.

Moreover, to become an RN, you’ll need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination. Specific requirements vary by state but often include a background check, proof of your MSN education, and possibly documentation of citizenship.

Work as a Nurse

Acquire nursing affairs by working in a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare setting. In addition, many nurse practitioner certification programs mandate at least one year of nursing experience for admission. Therefore, gaining affair in professional nursing also assists in identifying your preferred specialty area within the medical field for your future career as a nurse practitioner.

Get a Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Obtain a nurse practitioner certificate in your selected area of healthcare. Many prospective nurse practitioners opt for a certificate program that includes extra advanced education classes. This path might be ideal if your specialty is in a focused area of medicine, such as neonatal or geriatric care. Alternatively, you could choose to sit for a national nurse practitioner exam administered by a well-respected medical body.

Acquire an Advanced Nursing License

Obtain a higher-level nursing license. The specific title and criteria for this license differ by state, depending on where you intend to practice. In some states, you must seek a new license for advanced practice registered nursing. In others, you might be eligible to upgrade your current nursing license. Additionally, some states mandate extra authorization steps if you wish to prescribe medications to patients.

Nurse practitioner skills

Nurse practitioners are equipped with a range of hard and soft skills, from specialized technical abilities in nursing to essential interpersonal qualities. Here are some critical skills that contribute to the success of nurse practitioners:

  • Flexibility
  • Empathy
  • Technology skills
  • Teamwork


Nurse practitioners are highly adaptable, adjusting swiftly to diverse scenarios. They frequently encounter new medical conditions and patient demands, which can alter their working conditions and daily agendas. Being flexible allows nurses to deliver the essential care their patients require, even in difficult or unforeseen circumstances.


A nurse practitioner meets numerous patients, each presenting distinct health challenges, necessities, and worries. Nurses who show empathy towards the individual health concerns or fears of each patient are able to establish deeper relationships with them. Additionally, this empathy is demonstrated by attentively hearing out their concerns, showing compassion for their ailments, and offering tailored advice or support.

Technology Skills

As the healthcare industry shifts towards digital records, nurse practitioners are becoming well-versed in medical technology. They can routinely access and manage electronic health records (EHRs) on databases. Their specific tech use might also extend beyond EHRs, depending on their area of practice. For instance, some may utilize digital blood pressure monitors, while others integrate telehealth services into their patient care.


In the healthcare world, nurse leaders are essential parts of the team. They don’t just oversee things; they actively work alongside their fellow nurses. Through clear communication and collaboration, they provide support and guidance to ensure every patient receives the highest quality care possible.


In conclusion, becoming a nurse practitioner with a non-nursing background is an edifying but multi-step process. In addition, it requires tenacity to further education, hands-on experience, and obtaining the necessary licenses. However, with the proper planning and perseverance, individuals with a passion for healthcare can successfully transition into this fulfilling career path. However, if you are looking for the highest quality nursing essays and nursing dissertations, you can place your order here

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