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Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioner

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A Nurse Practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) who has completed advanced education (generally a minimum of a master's degree) and training in the diagnosis and management of common medical conditions, including chronic illnesses. Nurse practitioners provide a broad range of health care services.

Because the profession is state regulated, care provided by NPs varies. A nurse practitioner's duties may include the following:

  • Diagnosing, treating, evaluating and managing acute and chronic illness and disease (e.g., pneumonia, diabetes, high blood pressure)
  • Obtaining medical histories and conducting physical examinations
  • Ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic studies (e.g., lab tests, x-rays, EKGs)
  • Prescribing medications
  • Prescribing physical therapy and other rehabilitation treatments
  • Providing prenatal care and family planning services
  • Providing well-child care, including screening and immunizations
  • Providing primary and specialty care services, health maintenance care for adults, including annual physicals
  • Performing minor surgeries and procedures (e.g., dermatological biopsies, suturing, casting)
  • Collaborating with physicians and other health professionals as needed, including providing referrals
  • Counseling and educating patients on health behaviors, self-care skills, and treatment options