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Nurse Practitioner

Career Highlights

  • Performing duties similar to those of a doctor
  • Promoting positive health
  • Analyzing and problem solving

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Career Summary

A nurse practitioner's job can be very similar to that of a doctor.  In addition to providing clinical care, NPs promote positive health behaviors through education, and through working with physicians and other health professionals.

The clinical side of a nurse practitioner's job is broad and versatile. They perform physical examinations, obtain medical histories, diagnose illness and treat acute health problems. A nurse practitioner can also prescribe medications and perform diagnostics as well, including ordering and interpreting lab work or x-rays.

But an NP's profession also extends beyond clinical knowledge. Communication skills are a nurse practitioner's most important skill, as they are expected to work with patients in determining the best health care plan for them. Nurse practitioners need to be able to explain plans and procedures in a clear manner the patient can understand. A nurse practitioner will also offer advice, counseling patients in order for them to make an informed decision.

Analyzing and problem solving skills are also important in order for nurse practitioners to make diagnoses. This means an NP must pay attention to the details that could indicate the solution to a problem. A nurse practitioner must also have good judgment, maturity, adaptability, concern for people, and the ability to inspire confidence and act calmly in emergencies.

Nurse practitioners provide high-quality, cost-effective, individualized care that is comparable to the health care provided by physicians, and NP services are often covered by insurance providers.

NPs may work in the following institutions:

  • Community clinics
  • Health departments
  • Home health care agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Hospice centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Physician offices
  • Public health departments
  • School / college clinics
  • Walk-in clinics

More information can be found via the Additional Information links below.




Requires a master's degree in registered nursing, and certification.

Career Skills

  • Good judgment
  • Adaptability
  • Inspire confidence
  • Handle emergencies calmly

Additional Information

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*Salary ranges based on location, experience, and demand. This number represents a rough nation-wide average.