Certified Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are independently licensed healthcare providers who approach the holistic care of patients from a foundation of nursing theory and offer a comprehensive perspective to healthcare. Unlike licensed Registered Nurses, NPs have graduate-level nursing preparation and hold either a master's or doctorate degree. Additionally, they have met national certification requirements that allow them to diagnose and treat a number of health problems.
They may work in both inpatient and outpatient situations and can perform independently or as part of a treatment team. Generally, nurse practitioners perform the important task of educating patients about preventative care and prescribed treatments. They may also conduct physicals, order tests and serve as a patient's primary healthcare provider. Some nurse practitioners are also able to prescribe medications.
Their titles may reflect an area of specialty, such as a Pediatric NP, Neonatal NP, Family Practice NP, Pediatric NP, Acute Care NP, Emergency NP, General NP, Women's Health NP, or Psychiatric/Mental Health NP amongst others. They may also work with the adult and geriatric patient population, surgery, cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, dermatology, nephrology, neurology, and palliative care to name a few sub-specialties. They can provide various levels of health care, including primary care, supportive care, emergency care, long-term care, and acute care.
Nurse Practitioner authority and requirements differ from state to state. Listed below are informative websites regarding authorities and requirements per state.
Including but not limited to:
- Help provide primary care for patients
- Perform physical exams and patient observation
- Document medical histories, physical and exam findings
- Create patient care plans and contribute to existing plans
- Order, administer, and analyze diagnostic tests
- Monitor and operate medical equipment
- Diagnose health issues/develop differential diagnoses
- Detect changes in a patient’s health and change treatment plans as necessary
- Administer medications and treatments
- Evaluate responses to treatments and medications
- Consult with healthcare professionals
- Educate patients and their families on managing illnesses, injuries, and disease prevention
- Advocate for patients, families, groups, communities
- Masters Degree from an accredited nursing program
- Current state RN licensure, Current APRN/NP Licensure
- National certification through (ANCC, NCC, PNCB, AANPCB, AACN, etc) if required by state
- 1 - 2+ years working experience as a Nurse Practitioner outside of clinical rotations
- Current BLS
- ACLS, NRP, or PALS may be required for certain jobs depending on NP specialty/patient population
- Valid driver’s license/State ID/Passport
- Current TB screen
- Successful completion of a background check and Medely’s screening process