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Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners treat both physical and mental conditions through history taking, physical exams, and ordering tests for qualified physicians to interpret. NPs can provide a nursing diagnosis and recommendations for a wide range of acute and some chronic diseases (within their scope of practice) and provide appropriate treatment for patients, including prescribing medications in somstates. NP’s can see patients of all ages depending on their specialty (family, pediatrics, geriatrics, etc.). Similar to all medical professions, the core philosophy of the field is individualized care that focuses on patients’ conditions as well as the effects of illness on the lives of the patients and their families. NPs make prevention, wellness, and patient education priorities. To become licensed/certified to practice, Nurse Practitioners hold board certification in an area (such as family, women’s health, pediatrics, adult, acute care, etc.), and are licensed through the state nursing boards. NPs must practice within the scope of their certification.

According to the International Council of Nurses, an NP/advanced practice nurse is “a registered nurse who has acquired the knowledge base, decision-making skills and clinical competencies for expanded practice beyond that of an RN, the characteristics of which would be determined by the context in which s/he is credentialed to practice.”

Additional advanced practice RN roles include the certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)s, CNMs, and CNSs.

Nurse practitioners can be educated and certified in areas of family health (FNP), pediatrics, including pediatric acute/chronic care, pediatric critical care, pediatric oncology and general pediatrics (PNP), neonatology (NNP), gerontology (GNP), women’s health (WHNP), psychiatry & mental health (PMHNP), acute care (ACNP), adult health (ANP), oncology (FNP, ACNP, ANP, PNP or ANP) emergency (as FNP or ACNP), occupational health (as ANP or FNP), etc. In Canada, NPs are licensed by the province or territory in which they practice.

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