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Nurse Practitioner Programs in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is known for promoting good health -- it rounds out the top five list of healthiest states – and it is allowing its nurse practitioners to do their part in promoting health and treating illness. The state gives nurse practitioners a wide scope that allows them to contribute to the extent of their training.

The nurse practitioner scope of practice includes advanced assessment, diagnosis and treatment of common conditions, and pharmacological and non-pharmacological healthcare management. Nurse practitioners can write prescriptions. They can order physical therapy. In New Hampshire, they do so without mandatory physician oversight.

Nurse practitioners do not all have the same scope of allowable duty. Work duties must be consistent with national certification (https://www.oplc.nh.gov/nursing/aprn-practice.htm). New Hampshire also takes into account individual preparation and competency, noting that in so doing, it is consistent with the Consensus Model. Qualifying certifications are offered in the following areas: family practice, adult-gerontology primary care, adult-gerontology acute care, psychiatric-mental health, neonatal, women’s health, pediatric acute care, and pediatric primary care. The New Hampshire Board notes that specialty oncology work might be within the family or adult-gerontology nurse practitioner scope.

Common work settings include clinics, physician’s offices, and ambulatory care centers. Some nurse practitioners take on relatively specialized roles such as performing home health assessments.

Nurse practitioners may be rural or urban. They are particularly critical in increasing rural healthcare access. The West Central New Hampshire area, notably, has the second highest job concentration of any nonmetropolitan area in the nation. The concentration is far higher than that of most metropolitan areas.

Top Nurse Practitioner Programs in NH

#1: The University of New Hampshire, a CCNE-accredited program, has flexible options for helping professionals realize their family or psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner aspirations. Faculty members have diverse research interests, among them, home care referrals, psychiatric health in the LBG population, physician-nurse co-management of elderly heart failure patients, and program evaluation of obesity prevention programs.

#2: Rivier University is ACEN-accredited. Family nurse practitioner students can opt for traditional or online learning. The psychiatric mental health master's degree track is offered in a traditional academic setting.

The Educational Foundation for a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are licensed as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, or APRNs. RNs attain credentialing as APRNs by completing role-specific graduate programs, then testing for certification in their specialty area.

Typical coursework includes advanced assessment, pathophysiology, population health, and pharmacology. There are typically several courses in primary care and management of healthcare conditions that affect the selected population. New Hampshire code mandates at least 480 hours of clinical practice. 500 has become the national consensus, however, and one can expect an accredited program to include at least that many.

Programmatic accreditation is key to certification examination eligibility. One New Hampshire program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Accreditation (CCNE), the other by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

New Hampshire RNs can opt for accredited programs in other states -- even without leaving home. Online programs are common and well-accepted. Post-RN program are not subject to the same level of regulation (https://www.oplc.nh.gov/nursing/education-programs.htm).

Students who opt for some population foci will need to enroll in programs located outside New Hampshire. New Hampshire has two tracks, family nurse practitioner and psychiatric mental health. Family is by far the most common program type around the nation.

Programs may award a master’s degree, post-master certificate, or doctoral degree. The University of New Hampshire notes in its FAQ that that, while making the practice doctorate (DNP) the entry-level standard has been a point of discussion for more than a decade, the DNP remains a recommendation and not a requirement.

New Hampshire's two programs award nurse practitioner credentials at the master's level. One also has a post-master DNP option. Among the DNP completion courses are health care quality, advanced statistics for quality improvement and design, health care policy and finance, and advanced epidemiology. The program also includes several semesters of coursework devoted to the completion of a major scholarly work. The project differs from a PhD in that it is more clinically focused; it may take any of multiple forms.

In a healthcare world that is increasingly focused on evidence-based care, there are plenty of opportunities for doctoral level nurses to carve out their niches. The New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association website includes a profile of a nurse practitioner with a particularly noteworthy career (https://nhnpa.enpnetwork.com/page/25071-in-the-spotlight-kathleen-broglio-dnp-anp-bc-achpn-cpe-fpcn). Among her accomplishments: piloting a clinic for a specialized and complex population, those who have pain associated with cancer but also have current or prior opiate use disorders. She has taught, presented, and written about safe prescribing and received more than one grant for curriculum development and implementation. One will find quite a few initials after her name – some nurse practitioners pursue certifications beyond the initial license-qualifying one.

Post-graduate residency is sometimes an option (http://ruralhealthquarterly.com/home/2017/04/06/new-hampshire-nurse-practitioner-program).

Additional Details: Nurse Practitioner requirements in New Hampshire

New Hampshire nurse practitioners earned an average of $54.06 an hour in 2017 ($112,440 if working traditional 40-hour work weeks).

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