What is an Nurse Practitioner?
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are health care professionals who can be a patient’s primary care provider, and are very qualified to do so. They must complete a master’s or doctoral degree program and have advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse preparation. NPs undergo rigorous national certification, periodic peer review, clinical outcome evaluations, and adhere to a code for ethical practices. Self-directed continued learning and professional development are also essential to maintaining clinical competency.
They have the ability to diagnose conditions and manage treatment plans – including prescribing medications. NPs provide a full range of primary, acute and specialty health care services. NPs are licensed in all states and the District of Columbia, and practice under the rules and regulations of the state in which they are licensed. They provide high-quality care in rural, urban and suburban communities, in many types of settings including clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care sites, private physician or NP practices, nursing homes, schools, colleges, and public health departments.