What Does a Nurse Practitioner Do? - Video

Nurse Practitioners are registered nurses who have completed extensive advanced health care training. These RNs can be a patient's primary care giver, if needed. NPs work independently or closely with other physicians in a variety of health care settings.

Job Description

Nurse Practitioners, or NPs, are registered nurses who have received advanced training in primary care services. They provide health care services to patients as a primary care or specialty care provider. This type of nurse is able to prescribe medication to patients and can work individually in his or her own practice, if so desired. NPs have completed, at minimum, a master's degree program in complex and common medical conditions. They have the ability to provide the same care as a physician.

Daily Duties

Daily duties variety widely in the medical field. Nurse Practitioners will work with patients in specialized areas such as pediatric and geriatric care to prenatal and family planning services. They will prescribe medication and order tests. They will diagnose, treat and monitor illness, infection, diseases and injuries. They can provide routine physicals and immunizations. Nurse Practitioners will even help to counsel and educate their patients on appropriate health behaviors and care. NPs may be the first person a patient sees when coming in to the doctor's office, or may be the primary care provider during each visit.

Work Setting

NPs are able to work independently or with other physicians. Their work setting may also be dictated by their chosen specialty. NPs can be found working in hospital emergency rooms, clinics or women's health centers. Additionally, there are some Nurse Practitioners who choose to open their own clinic or office, establishing themselves as the primary care provider for patients. Other work settings may include urgent care centers, home health care agencies, HMOs, nursing homes and even schools.

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