Nurse Practitioner (NP)

What does Nurse Practitioner (NP) mean?

Nurse Practitioners are Registered Nurses with more advanced educational degrees and more extensive clinical training. Nurse practitioners are allowed to perform a variety of services for patients including physical examinations, ordering laboratory tests and taking the patient's history. Additionally, they are allowed to write prescriptions, coordinate referrals, and perform certain procedures such as a lumbar puncture and a bone marrow biopsy.

Due to the increase in medical care costs it is not unusual for more doctor's offices and hospitals to rely more heavily on the services provided by a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners frequently work in a variety of settings and departments including geriatrics, nephrology, oncology, pediatrics, family practices, emergency rooms, and neonatology.

The scope of the services supplied by a nurse practitioner can vary by state. For instance, some nurse practitioners in some states can write prescriptions, but others in other states cannot. The average salary for a nurse practitioner in the United States is $94,407. Nurse practitioners must have a master's degree in an area of specialty, certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP), and state authority for advanced practice. Nurse practitioners, like other medical professionals, can be sued for medical malpractice if they breach their duty of care and this breach causes another person injury or death. Talk to a lawyer if you have had a medical malpractice case filed against you and you are a nurse practitioner.

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