Frequently Asked Questions About Nurse Practitioners The following questions are commonly asked about nurse practitioners:
What is the difference between a nurse practitioner and an RN?
A RN, or registered nurse, is someone who has at least an Associate’s degree in nursing combined with practical clinical experience, though many RN’s do complete a Bachelor’s degree. A nurse practitioner, on the other hand, has at least Master’s degree in nursing, and in some cases possesses a Doctorate degree. They are considered advanced RN’s and are highly specialized in their fields. For example, many nurse practitioners choose to focus on women’s health or family health.
Do nurse practitioners offer primary care?
Yes. In fact, it is quite common that busy clinics use nurse practitioners as well as doctors, since a nurse practitioner is able to diagnose patients and write out prescriptions. In fact, while some states have laws that force nurse practitioners to work with doctors, other states allow nurse practitioners to open their own clinic without using a doctor at all. Since they are highly specialized in their field, the quality of care of nurse practitioner offers is comparable to a doctor’s expertise.
What role do nurse practitioners play in hospitals?
Nurse practitioners are often hired by hospitals to oversee the RN’s and act in a management position. Besides seeing patients, they are also responsible for scheduling the staff. Likewise, because of their additional responsibilities, nurse practitioners make more money than their RN counterparts. Because there is a high demand for nursing, this field is expected to rapidly grow over the next half century.