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What does a Nurse Practitioner do?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered February 22 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a highly qualified Nurse who can carry out additional tasks due to their higher education and advanced training. Their clinical experience allows them to take on more roles and responsibilities than a Registered Nurse, with some roles overlapping with those of a Registered Nurse.  
NPs are beneficial to the healthcare system because they can provide high-quality care to patients and carry out additional tasks that would otherwise require a Physician. For example, an NP can prescribe medication, where a Registered Nurse cannot. This differentiation improves access to primary healthcare and reduces pressure on the system overall. NPs are qualified to perform other duties, including ordering and interpreting tests, diagnosing illnesses, and carrying out specific medical procedures.  
Like other Physicians, NPs can have subspecialties that can include pediatrics, geriatrics, surgery, emergency room nursing, and more. It means that they can focus only on a particular area and become highly specialized in these subjects. NPs work in various medical settings, depending on their area of focus. They are preset in emergency rooms, Physicians’ offices, psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation centers, senior residences, and schools, to name a few.       

Roles & Responsibilities for a Nurse Practitioner 

  • Working closely with patients in the healthcare system  
  • Diagnosing acute and chronic illnesses autonomously  
  • Prescribing medication to patients  
  • Ordering and analyzing tests from labs, x-rays, and other diagnoses  
  • Managing and planning patient care throughout their treatment  
  • Performing medical procedures such as minor surgeries  
  • Collaborating with other healthcare professionals to develop treatment plans or diagnoses for difficult cases  
  • Conducting regular and continuous tests on patients to ensure their requirements are met   
  • Recording patients' histories to make sure that all symptoms, medication, and treatments are properly documented  
  • Educating and advocating for patients and their families and teaching them about conditions and treatment plans 
  • Reading through patient health history and other documentation when needed  
  • Staying up to date and continuing to advance their knowledge in the medical field  
  • Supervising Registered Nurses and other medical staff in the workplace, whether in a clinic or hospital  
  • Performing procedures with cell cultures   
  • Evaluating patients results to determine their reasons for testing