Is Acupuncture School the Right Career Move for Nurse Practitioners?

Nurse practitioners are in high demand, with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners reporting that the demand hit 385,000 strong near the end of 2023.

Adding to your skillset by attending acupuncture school can help you “skill up” and become an even more valuable asset in the healthcare industry.

Can Nurse Practitioners Do Acupuncture?

Acupuncture programs for nurses allow you to do one of two things:

  1. Practice nursing
  2. Practice acupuncture

Fast-track programs are available for anyone who wants to work through acupuncture school quickly. Legality depends on the state, but you need to be properly trained to be allowed to practice on patients.

NCCAOM exam study and passing will allow you to work in a professional capacity as an acupuncturist.

We offer a practitioner track that allows healthcare practitioners to streamline their acupuncture schooling. Click here for more information.

The Demand for Acupuncture is Growing

Demand for acupuncture is growing, encouraging more nurses to seek training. Mainstream medicine has been embracing acupuncture in recent years, and even many insurance companies are covering acupuncture visits.

Medicare offers up to 12 visits to an acupuncturist in 90 days for lower back pain and 20 treatments per year each year.

Rising demand for acupuncturists and more insurers covering the cost are two great reasons to attend acupuncture school.

Consider Your Personal Career Goals

When deciding whether acupuncture is the right move for you, consider your career goals. Ask yourself:

How do you want to help people?

Acupuncture can be used to help with a variety of conditions, including:

  • Pain: Acupuncture helps stimulate the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. It can be used to help manage fibromyalgia, migraines, osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Anxiety and depression: Like with pain management, the release of endorphins can help elevate a person’s mood. More than 40 million people in the U.S. alone struggle with anxiety and depression, and acupuncture may help.
  • Sleep disorders: Sleep apnea, insomnia, interrupted sleep and other sleep-related issues can lead to chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Acupuncture can help stimulate the release of melatonin, which regulates sleep patterns.
  • Digestive disorders: Acupuncture can be used to realign the meridians related to digestive functions and help patients with IBS, GI problems or acid reflux.

Acupuncture can be used for therapeutic purposes and as a complementary treatment used in conjunction with Western medicine.

If your goal is to help as many people as possible in as many ways as possible, acupuncture may be a fitting move for you. There are several accredited acupuncture programs for nurses that can help you make this career move.

Are you looking for more career opportunities?

Acupuncture is fast becoming an integrated part of Western medicine, which means that nurse practitioners with this skill will have more career opportunities.

There are many paths you can take once you complete your training, including:

  • Private practitioner: Depending on your location, you may be able to open a private practice once you complete your training.
  • Hospital acupuncturist: Demand for acupuncturists in hospitals is growing. You may find a fulfilling role working in an integrative medicine program or pain clinic.
  • Associate acupuncturist: You can work at an established clinic and treat patients without the challenges of opening your own practice.

Final Thoughts

Acupuncture school can be an excellent choice for many nurse practitioners. Ultimately, the decision is a personal one that should align with your career goals. But there’s no doubt that acupuncture is a valuable skill that will serve you well as a nurse.

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