A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has had advanced clinical and academic experience and provides preventive and primary health care to patients of all ages. They are responsible for diagnosing, treating and monitoring minor, acute and chronic health problems, as well as helping patients to make informed decisions on how to live a healthy lifestyle. They will perform such duties as taking patient histories, conducting physical exams, ordering and interpreting lab work and X-rays, providing immunizations, etc. In the majority of states, nurse practitioners are allowed to prescribe medications for their patients. Nurse practitioners are continually working with physicians and other healthcare professionals in order to help patients and their families. Nurse practitioners are often known to focus on preventative health care and risk detection. Job opportunities can be found in private clinics, hospitals, schools, health departments, nursing homes, etc. Educational Requirements and Resources
In terms of education, this position requires a master's degree from an accredited nurse practitioner graduate program. In order to enroll in a nurse practitioner program, an individual must usually have a bachelor's degree in nursing and be licensed as a registered nurse. (The entire education process to become a nurse practitioner usually spans on average six to eight years depending on the program chosen). After the education process is complete, individuals must pass a national certification examination. To learn more about nurse practitioners, please visit the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
. Please use the links provided below to learn more about specific educational programs pertaining to this field.