Top 4 Nurse Practitioner Specialties for 2012


While most family nurse practitioners are groomed for primary care, not all NPs want to be limited to primary care.

I remember the day I decided leave primary care to specialize in holistic health & wellness.

I was writing a prescription for a 45 year old obese patient with uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease, when he asked, “What’s wrong with me? How come I’m not getting better?”

I’d been studying integrative medicine and reading the research on using lifestyle medicine for reversing chronic disease and was very impressed. I knew I could make a bigger impact.

Today, I get to live and work with my passion. I am a holistic health & wellness family nurse practitioner within a busy family practice. When physicians need help turning patients’ health around, they turn to me. Part detective, educator and counselor, I have more time to listen to patients and help them reach their goals through lifestyle medicine.

What about you?

Have you thought about expanding your clinical skills and expertise to enhance the quality of life of your patients?

Are you interested in increasing your revenue in a niche practice?

According to Barbara Phillips, FNP, founder of Nurse Practitioner Business Owners, “Specialists often charge more for their clinical services (cash and insurance other than Medicare). If you are also providing services such as teaching and speaking, you can also charge for those services.”

With a growing population of aging Americans and increasing obesity & diabetes rates, there are many opportunities for nurse practitioners to specialize.

Here are top 4 nurse practitioner specialties for 2012:

1) Health & Wellness NP
With two-third of adults and nearly one-third of children being overweight or obese and rising health care costs, there is an urgent need for health & wellness NPs in disease prevention as part of health care reform.

2) Survivorship NP
An emerging specialty, survivorship NPs are usually found in cancer centers with survivorship clinics. With the shortage of primary care doctors and oncologists who are short on time & training in this area, more survivorship NPs are needed to educate and develop follow-up care plans for cancer survivors.

3) Brain Health & Fitness NP
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2020 almost 20% of the U.S. population will be older than 65. After cancer, what baby boomers fear most is losing their mind to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Through exercise, nutrition, mental stimulation, stress reduction, and socialization, Nurse practitioners in this specialty can help improve brain health and prevent mental decline.

4) Urinary Incontinence NP
According to Barbara Phillips, FNP, “A continence practice is a fantastic opportunity “ for Nurse practitioners, stating, “This is an area that clinicians can make a huge difference in the lives of their patients. The need is great, the need is now.” For more information, contact, Helen Carcio, NP founder and director of the Health & Continence Institute @ The Health & Continence Institute (HCI). She offers intensive courses a few times per year.

For more information on specialty care practices, I recommend reading, Why Niching your Practice Might be Better than Primary Care.

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