Nurse Practitioners are Registered Nurses who serve as primary and specialty health care providers under a physician. Much like a family doctor, Family Nurse Practitioners work with patients throughout their lives, diagnosing illness, conducting exams, and prescribing medication. These nurses can also serve as their patients sole health care provider and run their own private practices.
Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who use theory, research, and clinical expertise to improve the health of people of all ages. As a health care provider, the nurse practitioner may:
Assess patients' health status
Provide disease prevention and health promotion services
Diagnose and treat common acute health problems
Manage care for stable, but chronically ill, patients
Manage prenatal care during pregnancy
Participate in, or manage, clinical research projects
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have an advanced training. With the exception of surgery, nurse practitioners are allowed under state regulations to provide many of the same services performed by physicians. These services include diagnosing and treating health problems; performing prenatal, well-child, and adult care checkups; diagnosing and managing minor trauma, including suturing and splinting; prescribing medications; and teaching health promotion and disease prevention to patients.