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Students who have previously completed a master’s degree in nursing preparing them for practice in another advanced role or in an advanced nursing specialty, can further enhance their skills in the Post Graduate Certificate Programs in Nursing at South University.

South University, Savannah offers Post Graduate Certificate (PGC) Programs in Nursing with specializations in Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Health Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Educator. In addition, South University, Tampa also offers the Nurse Educator PGC specialization.

Dr. Deborah Condosta, DNP, ARNP-C  Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program Director at South University, Tampa says the roles of adult nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner are basically the same except, the family nurse practitioner cares for a patient from birth to death. In Florida, where she lives, Condosta says an adult nurse practitioner cares for patients age 12 and up.

Condosta says a nurse educator is tasked with the responsibility of understanding the role of a nurse practitioner and teaching at that level. However, they can also teach at the undergraduate level, as well as graduate courses, she says. A nurse educator only teaches core courses, not practicum, she notes.

Evolving Roles of the Nurse Practitioner

Condosta says a nurse practitioner can do everything for a normal patient coming into a doctor’s office that the physician themselves can do, with of course the exception of surgery.

They work in acute care settings, making rounds on patients in hospitals, as well as primary care, outpatient situations. A primary care nurse practitioner takes care of everything a patient has going on, she says.

“They’re responsible for everything with that patient,” Condosta says.

Many physicians have to see 50-60 patients each day, and the assistance of a nurse practitioner makes this possible, she says.

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner

Many students decide to become a nurse practitioner because they want to make a difference with their career.

“They know exactly what an NP does and they want to be able to change things in the health system,” Condosta says. “They see a problem with the system and want to change it. They want to take care of the patients at a higher level.”

“I’ve been an NP for 15 years and I absolutely love it,” Condosta says. “I would highly recommend it to people who know what they’re getting into. It’s extremely rewarding!”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Registered Nurses, predicts the demand for registered nurses to increase by 26% between 2010-2020.