Nurse practitioners (NPs) have been a trusted health partner for millions of Americans in recent years. With expertise in assessing, diagnosing, and treating illnesses, NPs play a crucial role in the healthcare industry in the U.S. But what is a nurse practitioner, and what they actually do?
Known for their high salary rate, being a nurse practitioner is a long and tedious process. The prerequisites must be met to be authorised for practising, from earning a master’s degree to obtaining certification and licensure.
Nurse Practitioner Definition
A nurse practitioner is a medical professional who provides in-depth care services for patients independently or in collaboration with a physician. NPS must have earned a master or doctoral degree, giving them adequate knowledge and skills in nursing.
NP is categorized into advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives, and certified nurse anaesthetists. They work in different speciality area, thus giving them different roles and responsibilities.
While NPS is responsible for offering primary health care, nurse-midwives are responsible for providing health care services that include gynaecological care and reproductive care. Nurse anaesthetists are responsible for providing anaesthesia, and CNS helps everything runs in the organization.
So, what is a nurse practitioner? An NP is a highly trained and skilled healthcare professional. Nurse practitioners who provide primary care can focus on a specific population such as children, families, or the elderly. They can also focus on disease prevention and health promotion.
What Does a Nurse Practitioner Do?
NPs typically have a broader range of duties. However, their authority can vary depending on state legislation. For instance, in Oregon and Colorado, NPs have full authority to prescribe medication, while other states like California require them to agree with a physician.
Other responsibilities of NPs include performing examination, diagnosing illnesses, providing treatment, and obtaining medical histories. It is also the duty of an NP to order and interpret laboratory tests, develop treatment plans, educate patients.
Types of NPs
As the nursing field evolves, different types of nurse practitioners come to existence. Individuals can be either general nurse practitioner or specialize in a specific area. Here are different types of NPs you can choose from.
⦁ Family Nurse Practitioner
FNP is the most popular type of NPs. Nurses in this speciality area provide primary care to family of all ages, from infant to elderly patients. They also empower and educate family to be aware of a healthier lifestyle.
⦁ Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
This specialized nurse provides care service for patients in hospitals and other settings. These patients commonly need immediate treatment because of injury. Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners also provide counselling about healthy lifestyle and injuries.
⦁ Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Unlike CNS nursing with responsibilities for clinical treatment and organization management, neonatal nurse practitioners focus on care service for newborn infants with a special condition like premature or injured.
⦁ Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
WHNP’s main duties include providing primary care to the female of all ages. They also provide OB GYN care, reproductive care, and counselling about the family plan. Sometimes, these nurse work in a team with OB GYN specialists.
What is a nurse practitioner focusing on treating infants and children? They are called pediatric nurse practitioners. They provide comprehensive care for infants, children, and young people. They can work in the hospitals or clinics that provide pediatric care.
How to Become an NP
Are you looking to become an NP? Here are steps to take:
⦁ Get a BSN degree: Enroll yourself on a BSN program and become a registered nurse by getting licensure.
⦁ Gain work experience: Gain one or two years of nursing experience gives a huge benefit. But you may skip this step and enrol in an MSN or DNP program.
⦁ Get an MSN degree: Enroll yourself in a Master of Science in Nursing program. This is a minimum educational requirement to be an NP.
⦁ Earn licensure: Upon graduation, you will need to earn advanced practice nursing licensure. The requirements can vary by state so that you can complete the application.
What is a nurse practitioner question that has been clearly answered? Now that you know what they are, what they do, and their specialities, you can become either a general or specialized nurse practitioner based on your passion. Chase your dream and serve people!