The Ultimate Nurse Practitioner Guidebook

A Comprehensive Guide to Getting Into and Surviving Nurse Practitioner School, Finding a Job, and Understanding the Policy That Drives the Profession

by Nadia Santana, DNP, FNP-BC (Author)
©2018 Textbook XVIII, 162 Pages


The Ultimate Nurse Practitioner Guidebook: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting Into and Surviving Nurse Practitioner School, Finding a Job, and Understanding the Policy That Drives the Profession will help you pursue a successful career as a nurse practitioner (NP). In this book, you will learn about the profession; how to choose, finance, and survive NP school; and how to proceed after graduation.
The nurse practitioner profession is one of the fastest-growing medical professions in the United States. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans have become insured, with NPs filling the gap and providing affordable access to care. NPs work in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and they have complete autonomy in many states. Nurse practitioners see patients of all ages and in a wide variety of settings, write prescriptions, and order labs and tests, all while providing excellent patient care.
The Ultimate Nurse Practitioner Guidebook aims to help anyone interested in a career as a nurse practitioner determine whether it is the right path for them, and will also help current NP students successfully complete their programs. This book is a must-read for those who are interested in attending nurse practitioner school, current nurse practitioner students, and even practicing NPs.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Advance Praise for The Ultimate Nurse Practitioner Guidebook
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Dedication
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • My Story
  • Chapter 1. Defining the Nurse Practitioner
  • History of the Nurse Practitioner
  • The Nurse Practitioner Role
  • Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice and State Practice Environments
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Regulatory Model
  • Institute of Medicine Report
  • Prescriptive Authority
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Terms
  • Nurse Practitioners in the Workforce
  • References
  • Chapter 2. How to Get Accepted into a Nurse Practitioner Program
  • How to Get Accepted into a Nurse Practitioner Program
  • Reviewing Your Application
  • Chapter 3. Deciding on a Nurse Practitioner Program
  • Different Ways to Enter into a Nurse Practitioner Program
  • Different Types of Nurse Practitioner Programs
  • How to Determine Which Nurse Practitioner Schools You Should Apply to
  • Deciding on a Nurse Practitioner Program
  • Chapter 4. Financing Your Nurse Practitioner Education
  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Student Loan Repayment Programs
  • Teaching Assistant (TA)
  • Student Loans
  • Chapter 5. Getting Through Your Nurse Practitioner Program
  • Nurse Practitioner Program Basics
  • Studying Pearls
  • The Clinical Experience
  • Preceptors
  • Getting Involved in Your School
  • Enjoy Yourself
  • Chapter 6. After Graduation, Now What?
  • Board Certification
  • Nurse Practitioner License
  • Miscellaneous
  • Keep Your Documents Organized
  • Join a Nurse Practitioner Organization
  • Continuing Education
  • Chapter 7. The Job Hunt
  • Job Search Resources
  • Job Search Challenges
  • Negotiating and Accepting a Job Offer
  • Other Considerations
  • Additional Nurse Practitioner Positions
  • Chapter 8. Bringing It All Together
  • Beginning Your Practice
  • On the Job Tips
  • Surviving the Stress
  • Taking Care of Yourself
  • Epilogue
  • Appendix
  • Board Certification Organizations
  • Academic Websites and Journals
  • Scholarship Websites and Financing Your Education
  • National and International Nursing and Nurse Practitioner Organizations
  • State Nurse and Nurse Practitioner Organizations
  • Jobs/Recruiting/Locum Tenens Organizations
  • Continuing Education Resources

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There are so many individuals that I am grateful to for helping me with this book. Thank you to my Acquisitions Editor, Sarah Bode, of Peter Lang Publishing. Without her, this book may never have been finished. A big thanks to both Brittany Pavon Suriel and Dr. Paul Coyne for reading the manuscript in its early version and offering great feedback. Many thanks to Dr. Dyan Summers and Dr. Stephen Ferrara for reviewing the finished manuscript in its entirety. Gratitude and love to all of my wonderful NP friends who have supported me throughout the years. My mother deserves an enormous thank you for reading and rereading my manuscript, many times over. And of course, thank you to my husband Reinaldo, for being so patient and supportive during the numerous months it took to bring this book to life. ← xi | xii →

← xii | xiii →


Congratulations on making the decision to become a nurse practitioner (NP), one of the most rewarding professions on planet Earth! Whether you have been a nurse for years and have decided to return to school to pursue advanced training or have recently graduated a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, choosing to join a group of professionals more than 234,000 strong will change your life in ways you could never imagine.

I wrote this book in order to give you, the reader, guidance about how exactly to become a nurse practitioner. While I was applying to nurse practitioner programs, I found myself lost in the professional jargon that surrounds nursing, and I lacked the understanding of how exactly to become a nurse practitioner. Even with the plethora of internet resources available, I still struggled and was confused about the entire process. I definitely could have used a guidebook to help me along the way, so I created one in hopes of helping future nurse practitioners achieve their dreams. My goal is to assist you every step of the way during this process and also help to make the transition into NP school and then into clinical practice as smooth as possible.

Within these pages you will find an abundance of information on a wide variety of nurse practitioner–related subjects. From how to get accepted into ← xiii | xiv → a program, to financing your education, to starting off your practice as a nurse practitioner—we are going to cover it all! Regardless of where you are on your path to becoming an NP, there will be valuable information for you along the way. Even if you are no longer a student, and are already a practicing nurse practitioner, you will still find much of the information presented in this book relevant to your life and clinical practice. Aside from invaluable information about the nurse practitioner profession, I’ve also included a comprehensive appendix full of helpful references to help you along your nurse practitioner path.

You may find some of the information repeated throughout the text; this is because some of the subjects are very important and I wanted to make sure the concepts are understood. Additionally, at the time of publication the information in this book was correct and up-to-date. As the NP profession continues to evolve and grow, this information may have changed between publication and when purchased. I suggest you do your due diligence while doing your research on NP programs and the profession.

I wish you all the best of luck on your journey to becoming a nurse practitioner. Although the means to actually becoming a nurse practitioner can be at times very challenging, and you may encounter a few bumps along the road, you will also find this profession incredibly fulfilling. With each day bringing new knowledge and professional growth and challenges, rest assured that working as a nurse practitioner will keep you on your toes!

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AANP American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

ACNP Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

ACPNP Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

AGNP Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

AGACNP Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

AGPCNP Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

ANP Adult Nurse Practitioner

ANP Advanced Nurse Practitioner

AOCNP Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner

APN Advanced Practice Nurse

APNP Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber

APRN Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

ARNP Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner

BC Board Certified

BSN Bachelor of Science in Nursing

C Certified

CE Continuing Education

CNM Certified Nurse-Midwife

CNP Certified Nurse Practitioner ← xv | xvi →

CRNA Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

CRNP Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner

CNS Clinical Nurse Specialist

DCNP Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner

DEA Drug Enforcement Administration

DNP Doctor of Nursing Practice

ENP Emergency Nurse Practitioner

FNP Family Nurse Practitioner

GNP Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

GPA Grade Point Average

GRE Graduate Record Exam

HRSA Health Resources and Services Administration


XVIII, 162
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2018 (June)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2018. XVIII, 162 pp., 2 tables.

Biographical notes

Nadia Santana, DNP, FNP-BC (Author)

Nadia Santana, DNP, FNP-BC, is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. She received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Arizona. After spending two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon, she earned a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate in nursing from Columbia University. When not seeing patients, Dr. Santana can be found teaching yoga, spending time with her husband and cats, and living a vegan lifestyle. Visit her online at www.nadiasantana.com.


Title: The Ultimate Nurse Practitioner Guidebook