Types Of Nurse Practitioner Courses (With How-To And FAQs)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 13 September 2022

Published 14 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a health care professional who provides patients with acute, primary and emergency care. Their duties include examining patients, diagnosing them, recommending treatments and conducting research. It is helpful to know what types of NP courses are available if you are interested in the career. In this article, we discuss the different types of nurse practitioner courses, learn how you can pursue a career in this field and answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Types Of Nurse Practitioner Courses

Knowing the types of nurse practitioner courses can help you decide whether becoming a nurse practitioner is the right career choice. NPs provide both primary and specialised care to their patients. They are excellent caregivers because of their nursing experience, advanced education and training, enabling them to perform tasks usually handled by physicians.

The Indian Nursing Council has started a Critical Care Nurse Practitioner Program to prepare nurses with a bachelor's degree to handle advanced nursing care treatment for critically ill adults. Some courses that these professionals may take are:

Advanced nursing practice

This program enables students to work independently and provide direct care to certain groups of patients or clients. This program aims to promote wellness, provide health care services and promote healthy lifestyles for patients and their family members. Additionally, it prepares them to collaborate with other health care professionals in a wide range of settings, according to established scope of practice guidelines.

Leadership and teaching skills

This course teaches the NP about the role and responsibilities required in providing client health services. The students also study client relations, legal matters and ethical issues. This course teaches NPs about interdisciplinary teams and various health policies.


The objective of this course is to examine pathophysiology, which is important in primary health care to diagnose and treat illness. It examines factors that affect health and illness. In addition, the course provides insights into the origin of diseases and their symptoms. It also offers guidance on how to treat common health problems. Nursing students can take pathophysiology courses at the beginning of their program to lay the foundation for future courses.

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Advanced pharmacology

Students take this course towards the end of their NP program to gain an understanding of how drugs work in primary health care. During the course, students explore various medications, their adverse effects and alternatives to medication therapy. They also learn how to write prescriptions that comply with the standard guidelines compliant with the health care industry.

Advanced health assessment

These professionals handle many of the same tasks as physicians, such as assessing and diagnosing health problems. This emphasises assessment procedures, such as physical examination and diagnostic testing. This course demonstrates the students' knowledge in pharmacology, anatomy and physiology.

Critical care nursing

This course gives an opportunity for aspiring NPs to apply what they learned in didactic courses to clinical settings. The students discuss theories about how to manage patients and practice taking leadership roles in health care environments. In addition, it intends to prepare students for entering the critical care environment by providing them with the necessary knowledge and skills to assist in the care of adult critical care patients.

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How To Become A Nurse Practitioner?

The following steps can help you pursue a career as an NP:

1. Complete your education

Obtaining a higher secondary education from a board recognised by the Government of India is the first step towards becoming a professional in this field. Students may benefit from choosing biology as their subject, which includes the study of human and animal life that can contribute to a better understanding of the body and how it works. You can use this knowledge when pursuing your bachelor's degree in nursing.

2. Earn a bachelor's degree

After completing higher secondary education, you may join a college that offers Bachelor of Science (BSc) courses in nursing. It is essential for applicants to pass their 10+2 exams from a recognised board, with physics, chemistry and biology as their compulsory subjects to be eligible. The admissions process of some colleges is based on the scores of 10+2 exams, whereas others may require an entrance exam. Some entrance exams include the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Banaras Hindu University Entrance Exam (BHUET) and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIMPER).

Students may also choose to pursue a Post Basic BSc Nursing degree after passing their 10+2 exams from a recognised board, with physics, chemistry and biology as mandatory subjects. It is also necessary for the students to have qualified for General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) course or have a certificate from other nursing courses of six to nine months prescribed by the Indian Nursing Council (INC). This course lasts two years, unlike the four-year BSc program.

3. Complete post-graduation

Candidates interested in enhancing their skills and knowledge further can pursue higher education, like masters or doctoral degrees. You can consider colleges that offer Master of Science (MSc) courses in nursing. It is essential that candidates possess a bachelor's degree or a post-basic BSc nursing degree in the related field from a recognised institution. It is also necessary for students with a post-basic degree to have one year of work experience before or after their post-basic BSc nursing degree.

The admissions process of some colleges may be based on merit and entrance exams. Some entrance exams may include AIIMS PG Entrance Exam, Dayanand Sagar Admission Test (DSAT) and Manipal Entrance Test (MET).

4. Enrol in nurse practitioner course

It is necessary for candidates to have a minimum of one year of clinical experience as a registered BSc Nurse or a Post Basic BSc Nurse before enrolling in this course. An individual with a year's clinical experience in critical care is preferable. Nursing graduates from both the BSc and Post-BSc programs are also eligible.

Nurse Practitioner Roles And Responsibilities

The following are some responsibilities of an NP:

  • Engaging with patients, their families and communities to understand their health needs and provide support

  • Providing individuals and families with information on disease prevention and good hygiene practices

  • Developing care plans for patients

  • Diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries

  • Conducting diagnostic tests, interpreting results and discussing them with the patients

  • Documenting patient medical histories

  • Evaluation of test results for determining physiological reasons for patients' symptoms

  • Supervising nurses and other health care staff in clinics and hospitals to ensure they are providing patients with quality care

  • Sharing knowledge, creating treatment regimens and identifying symptoms that are unusual or difficult to diagnose

Frequently Asked Questions

You may find the following frequently asked questions about this profession helpful:

What is the work environment of nurse practitioners?

These professionals work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, schools and universities. They may also provide health care in rural areas, in urban health centres or at worksite health centres. NPs often deal with illness, injury and emergency situations as part of their job duties.

How much do nurse practitioners get paid?

The national average salary of a nurse practitioner is ₹2,94,791 per year. Through experience, they can advance to levels such as NP II and NP III. The salary can depend on several factors, such as the employer, location, educational qualifications, experience and skills.

What skills does this profession require?

Some skills that these professionals require are as follows:

  • Performing CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an essential skill for these professionals. It is necessary that they recognise when this is necessary and perform this procedure correctly.

  • Proper triage assessment: It is imperative for nursing practitioners to be adept at assessment for triage protocol. The purpose of triage is to examine patients efficiently to prioritise their treatment in relation to other incoming cases.

  • Educating patients: The NP has the responsibility of informing patients and their families about the progress of the treatment. The task requires a thorough understanding of medical practices.

  • Empathy: The ability to comfort patients with empathy, along with being upfront and honest about medical information, is an essential skill of NPs. Additionally, it is essential to be able to treat the patient with respect and kindness.

  • Advanced learning: To enhance their understanding and stay current on the developments, they can attend conferences at the local, regional and national levels. They can also work on research projects and collaborate with other health care professionals.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.


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