Nurse Practitioner

A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a Registered Nurse who has completed specific advanced nursing education (generally a master's degree or doctoral degree) and training in the diagnosis and management of common as well as complex medical conditions. Nurse Practitioners provide a broad range of health care services. Nurse Practitioners are considered "Mid-level Providers/Practitioners," along with Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and Physician Assistant-s. Nurse practitioners, along with other advanced practice nurses, function within the scope of their state's nurse practice act and have varying levels of Physician collaboration or supervision. In some states, nurse practitioners function independent of physician involvement.

In some states, NPs admit and follow their patients in hospitals. Some NPs work in emergency rooms evaluating, diagnosing and treating patients with lacerations and fractures. In 10 states, NPs can open their own clinics and offices, in 27 states they are required to work in collaboration with physicians, and in 11 states they are required to work under supervision of a physician.

in March 2004, there were an estimated 141,209 nurse practitioners with credentials as NPs in the United States, an estimated increase of 38,560 from 2000.

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