A Nurse Practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has received education beyond what is required for registered nurses. They provide care to patients ranging from newborn babies to the elderly.
Employment opportunities for Nurse Practitioners are generally found in hospitals, clinics, health centers, college campuses, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies.
Responsibilities of a Nurse Practitioner include:
- Physical examinations
- Diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries
- Evaluate and interpret X-rays, EKGs and other tests
- Prescribe medication and therapies
- Carry out procedures
- Educate and communicate with patients
Nurse Practitioners provide healthcare services to patients in many different settings and specializations. They often perform the same tasks handled by general practice doctors or a physician’s assistant.
Qualifications for a Nurse Practitioner
Most Nurse Practitioners hold a graduate degree in advanced practice nursing. Some even have a doctorate in nursing, often specializing in a specific area of healthcare. They may work with or without the supervision of a medical doctor.
Nurse Practitioners must be able to effectively communicate with patients, families and other medical professionals. A thorough understanding of medical terminology is also required.