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A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) who has advanced education and clinical training
in a health care specialty area. They work with people of all ages and their families. The provide
information that people need, to make decisions on their health care and needs.
A nurse practitioner may provide primary health care in a several specialty areas such as:
Women’s Health, Acute Care, Adult, Emergency, Elder Care, and Pediatric/Child Care, just to
name a few.
Nurse Practitioners work in the rural and urban areas, such as: community health centers, public
health departments, hospitals, clinics, schools and colleges,doctor’s offices, nursing homes,
hospices, home health agencies and more.
Nurse Practitioners provide individualized care, that not only focuses on health problems, but
also on the effects health problems can have on patients and their families.
They explain the details of health problems, medications, and teach the patient and their families how to take care of the patient.
They ask about their concerns about their health, health care, and stress wellness and self-care,
by giving them what they need to know to make health care decisions.
They charge competitive fees that are covered by most health care insurances, but always check with your insurance company about their coverage.
They will take a detailed medical history and can perform physical exams.
They can diagnose and treat acute health problems, treat, monitor chronic illnesses, order,
perform, and interpret lab work and X-rays.
They can also prescribe medications and other treatments, provide prenatal care, well-child care, health maintenance care for adults.
They will meet with physicians and other health care professionals to discuss patient problems
when needed.
RNs must take an examination after completing the necessary courses to become a Nurse Practitioner.
The National Certification Examinations given by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Certification Program are competency based exams for adult and family nurse practitioners.
This test is to learn of their knowledge and expertise for each of these specialties. The content areas of the exam are health promotion, diesease prevention, and diagnosis and management of acute and chronic diseases by family and adult nurse practitioners.
Certifications are offered to graduates of approved Masters level adult and family nurse
practitioner programs.
If the RN passes her/his certification as a Nurse Practitioner, they are allowed to use the initials
NP-C after their names.
NP-C that are certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program
may become recertified every five years by sitting for the appropriate examination again or by meeting the continuing educations requirements established for recertification.
NPs will be tested on assessment, diagnosis, formulation, and implementation of treatment
plans, evaluation, and follow-up.
The family NP will be tested on prenatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult, and geriatric primary care.
The adult NP will be tested over knowledge of late adolescent, adult, and geriatric primary
They are also expected to know about pathophysiology, pharmacology, psychology, and
It takes a lot of dedication to become a nurse, but even more so, to become a Nurse Practitioner.