Job Description of a Nurse Practitioner


Nurse Practitioners are nurses with advanced degrees. They take on a variety of duties in care settings focused around the nursing model and are generally able to write prescriptions.


  • The career of a nurse practitioner came about in the 1960s. Nurse practitioners are nurses who have at least a Bachelors of Science in nursing. Nurse practitioners are also called N.P.s.

Scope of Practice

  • Each state regulates the role of a nurse practitioner and what a nurse practitioner may do. In some states, nurse practitioners work under doctors, while other states allow nurses to practice without a doctor's supervision.

Prescription Rights

  • In certain states, nurse practitioners have full prescription rights, including controlled substances. Other states require a nurse practitioner writing prescriptions to be supervised by a doctor.

Nursing Model

  • Nurse practitioners use a nursing model that focuses on holistic patient care, including health promotion and behavior change.

Medical Procedures

  • Nurse practitioners do routine medical procedures, including minor surgery such as suturing. They also take patient histories and interact with patients.

Doctoral Programs

  • Many nursing programs are currently switching to a doctoral nursing program, which means that people becoming nurse practitioners will have to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has recommended that all programs switch to doctoral programs by 2015.

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