The title Nurse Practitioner is gaining more awareness, but there is still a level of bewilderment with the name.
Nurse practitioners are licensed registered nurses who have completed a master’s or doctoral degree program, clinical training and didactic courses prior to taking a board exam. NPs provide both medical and nursing care under their own license. This license permits them to give orders, prescribe medications, and direct medical care of patients. Depending on state law, NPs practice either independently or in collaboration with physicians.
Areas of specialization and certification include Family, Adult, Pediatric, Gerontologic, Women’s Health, Psychiatric, School and Occupational Health, Emergency, Neonatal, and Acute Care. NPs may also subspecialize in areas such as dermatology, cardiovascular health, and oncology. The nurse practitioner field is fascinating and diverse- and growing!