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Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) who has advanced education and clinical training in a health care specialty area such as family practice or pediatrics. Nurse practitioners practice autonomously and in collaboration with health care
professionals and other individuals to diagnose, treat and manage a patient�s
health problems.

Nurse practitioners serve as the regular health care provider for children and adults during health and illness. In order to provide complete health care, nurse practitioners:

  • Obtain medical histories and perform physical examinations
  • Diagnose and treat acute health problems such as infections and injuries
  • Diagnose, treat and monitor chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Order, perform and interpret diagnostic studies such as lab work and X-rays
  • Provide prenatal and family planning services
  • Provide well-child care, including screening and immunizations
  • Prescribe medications and other treatments
  • Provide health maintenance care for adults, including annual physicals
  • Promote positive health behaviors and self-care skills through education and counseling
  • Collaborate with physicians and other health professionals as needed


Education

Entry level preparation for NP practice is a master's degree. Didactic and clinical courses prepare nurses with specialized knowledge and clinical competency to practice as primary, acute and long-term health care providers.


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