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Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses (RNs) who have advanced education and clinical training. They can perform physical exams, diagnose and treat health problems, order lab work and X-rays, prescribe medicines, and provide health information.
Nurse practitioners may specialize in the care of children (pediatric nurse practitioner), older adults (geriatric nurse practitioner), people of all ages (family nurse practitioner), or people with mental health problems (psychiatric nurse practitioner).
Nurse practitioners are licensed by the state in which they practice. Most nurse practitioners are nationally certified in their specialty areas.
Last Revised: August 17, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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