A Nurse Practitioner, also known as a NP, is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has completed additional schooling beyond a 4-year bachelor’s degree in order to be able to assess, diagnose, and treat patients.
NPs are their OWN profession and are not “the step before becoming a doctor.” In fact, some of us ARE doctors (Doctors of Nursing Practice [DNPs]), which require additional education beyond a Master’s Degree. (That’s 10 or more years of additional schooling BEYOND high school!)
NPs can own their own practices, have their own patient panels, and treat patients without the supervision or collaboration of a physician (depending on the state). Nevada is a full-practice authority state that allows nurse practitioners to practice autonomously and to the full extent of their education.
Nurse Practitioners are an essential part of the healthcare system and help to fill the role of the Primary Care Provider (PCP).