A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who has an advanced degree in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients. NPs have national certification in their area of expertise. They specialize in areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, family and women's health. In a clinical setting, NPs perform physical examinations, treat patients for acute and chronic illnesses and prescribe medications as needed. All NPs specialize in preventive care, teaching patients about their conditions, and how to stay healthier. They can serve as Primary Care Providers (PCP) for healthy and ill children and adults and their fees are covered by most private, Medicare and Medicaid health insurances.
NPs can: conduct physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, perform procedures, write prescriptions, and order and interpret laboratory and diagnostic studies.
NPs can also provide services such as:
NPs can prescribe treatment and medication according to the state's Nurse Practice Act. In Texas, NPs have prescriptive authority through written agreements with collaborating physicians.