Nurse practitioner (NP)

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses (RNs) who have advanced education and clinical training. They can perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat health problems, order lab work and X-rays, prescribe medications, and provide health information.

Nurse practitioners may specialize in the care of children (pediatric nurse practitioner), older adults (geriatric nurse practitioner), people of all ages (family nurse practitioner), or people with mental health problems (psychiatric nurse practitioner).

Nurse practitioners are licensed by the state in which they practice. Most nurse practitioners are nationally certified in their specialty area.

Last Updated: August 25, 2008

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

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