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Nurse Practitioner

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Master's degree

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What They Do

Nurse Practitioners Career Video

About This Career

Diagnoses and treats acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. May focus on health promotion and disease prevention. May order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x rays. May prescribe medication. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Maintains complete and detailed records of patients' health care plans and prognoses.
  • Develops treatment plans, based on scientific rationale, standards of care, and professional practice guidelines.
  • Provides patients with information needed to promote health, reduce risk factors, or prevent disease or disability.
  • Analyzes and interprets patients' histories, symptoms, physical findings, or diagnostic information to develop appropriate diagnoses.
  • Diagnoses or treats complex, unstable, comorbid, episodic, or emergency conditions in collaboration with other health care providers as necessary.
  • Prescribes medication dosages, routes, and frequencies, based on such patient characteristics as age and gender.
  • Diagnoses or treats chronic health care problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Prescribes medications based on efficacy, safety, and cost as legally authorized.
  • Recommends diagnostic or therapeutic interventions with attention to safety, cost, invasiveness, simplicity, acceptability, adherence, and efficacy.
  • Detects and responds to adverse drug reactions, with special attention to vulnerable populations such as infants, children, pregnant and lactating women, or older adults.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • ACNP (Acute Care Nurse Practitioner) — Provides advanced nursing care to patients with acute, critical and chronic conditions in order to stabilize them, minimize complications, manage additional on-going health care problems and promote physical and psychological well-being.
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
  • Family Practice Certified Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
  • Gastroenterology Nurse Practitioner
  • ARNP Specialist (Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Specialist)
  • Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)


  • Email Support

  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900


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