Nurse Practitioner

Run exams, care for patients, and prescribe medications.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$44,000 – $95,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Nurse Practitioners do?

As a Nurse Practitioner (also known as a Nurse Clinician) you are considered a Physician’s third hand: You are a highly trained Nurse, and can handle basic medical care for a patient. Because of this your training is extensive and your responsibilities can be similar to that of a Physician when you’re a Nurse Practitioner.

For basic and mild illnesses, a Nurse Practitioner can take over patient care, doing everything from the examination to the prescription of medication. This means that patients will come to you, making you the first line of defense against illness. If you examine the patient and determine their illness or medication necessary is more serious than something like a cold, you then recommend them to a Doctor who has more specialized expertise.

Alternatively, if you are not the first person to examine a patient, then the Physician will actually call you in to take over the care. The Physician may make the initial examination and diagnosis and then turn the patient over to you to inject penicillin or something else that has been prescribed. Then you keep a close eye on the patient if they are admitted and call on the Physician if symptoms worsen.

This works out for the Doctor, for you, and for the patient. As a Nurse Practitioner you may work on a fee for service basis as the Physician’s employee, and the patient is billed less for your time rather than the Physician’s.

Should I be a Nurse Practitioner?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Family Practice Certified Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner See More

    How to become a Nurse Practitioner

    Most Nurse Practitioners have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaa9e&chl=||||master%27s+%2893%25%29|doctorate+%287%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,93
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