Who are Nurse Practitioners?

A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a nurse with a graduate degree in advanced practice nursing. This allows the NP to provide a broad range of health care services, including:

•    Taking the patient's history
•    performing a physical exam
•    ordering appropriate laboratory tests and procedures
•    diagnosing
•    treating
•    managing acute and chronic diseases
•    providing prescriptions
•    providing patient/family education and counseling
•    coordinating referrals
•    promoting healthy activities in collaboration with the patient

Nurse Practitioner specialties include:

•    family practice
•    women's health
•    pediatrics
•    geriatrics
•    adult health
•    neonatology
•    psych/mental health
•    acute care
(Source: Adapted from U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health)

How many NPs are there?

 (Source: AANP, 2015)

How many NPs graduate each year?  From what types of programs?

Approximately 10,500
 (Source: National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, 2011)

NP education is at the graduate level.  NPs complete either a master's degree program or a doctoral degree.  Doctoral programs are either the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD).  The DNP represents the terminal clinical degree; the PhD is a research degree.

In what settings do Nurse Practitioners practice?

•    Private practices

•    Community clinics

•    Hospitals: In-patient settings and emergency rooms

•    School-based clinics/college health centers
•    Correctional facilities
•    Nursing homes/long-term care facilities/hospices
•    Health maintenance organizations
•    Armed Forces and Veterans’ Administration facilities
•    Urgent care settings

•    Retail clinics


Anywhere that quality care is offered!

Further Information

Click for more information about NPs Scope/Prescriptive Authority Maps in the United States.

Click for Bibliography and NP practice.