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What Is a Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse Practitioner -

An advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) with a master’s or doctorate in nursing is called a nurse practitioner (NP). With a great deal of autonomy, NPs collaborate with doctors and other medical specialists to provide specialized care in a variety of settings. They are essential in closing gaps in healthcare access because they provide patient-centred, affordable treatment, especially in underprivileged regions.

The role of the nurse practitioner is that a holistic approach to patient care is used by the nurse practitioner, who emphasises illness prevention, health promotion, and the significance of attending to both the physical and psychological aspects of health.

However, the goal of this blog is to provide readers with a thorough knowledge of the nurse practitioner’s function in the healthcare system, how it differs from a doctor’s, the range of practice that this role encompasses, the jobs that can be found in this field, and the difficulties that this career presents. To have a better understanding, let’s take a closer look at the realm of nurse practitioners.

Understanding what a Nurse Practitioner is?

Advanced practising registered nurses (APRNs) are definition of nurse practitioners and this is what NPs are known as. The careers all started as nurses. After completing two years of study for an associate’s degree (ASN), some nurses were prepared to enter the profession. Others had completed four years of training for a bachelor’s degree (BSN).

Nurses work in a variety of settings, including clinics, emergency rooms, surgical services, and critical care units. To guarantee that you have the greatest care team, nurses can earn a variety of specialist certifications related to the fields in which they practice.

Nurse and NP

Although they are both valuable members of the healthcare team, but they differ greatly from one another. Typically, nurses have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing and support patients’ general well-being, NPs, on the other hand, possess a master’s or doctorate in nursing, indicating higher schooling. Their area of expertise has grown to include making medical diagnoses, writing prescriptions, and overseeing patients’ treatment either alone or in tandem with doctors.

NPs frequently take on more complex clinical duties, with a focus on holistic patient care, illness prevention, and health promotion.


The types of nurse practitioners who are master’s prepared nurses are called advanced nurse practitioners, they are the UK equivalent of a Nurse Practitioner. They can serve in a range of roles including but not limited to nurse practitioner and midwifery.

While not all NPs are APRNs, all APRNs are NPs, this just indicates that they have pursued the most advanced nursing education available. Their educational background may allow them to be accepted as physicians, but they are not medical doctors.

Nursing Practitioner Chart -

What kind of instruction are nurse practitioners given?

Training can take place online or in conventional on-site settings. To continue working for their advanced degree, all NPs must maintain their clinical hours. The university offering the educational instruction or the nurse can schedule in-person clinics, which are always conducted. After work hours, clinical hours are spent studying clinical skills from practicing doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.

In addition to doctoral-level research, more clinical hours are needed throughout training if the practitioner is seeking a DNP or PhD. This usually comprises the research’s written thesis and dissertation. Universities may occasionally demand that a thesis be formally presented by publishing or distribution at a conference.

Doctors vs. Nurse Practitioners

While both professions work together to provide patient care, NPs offer holistic care, frequently with a patient-centred approach, while physicians have a wider scope that includes the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of illnesses.

However, considering NPs, with physicians, NPs possess the knowledge and abilities necessary to prescribe a broad variety of drugs, including both prohibited and non-controlled medicines, within their specific fields of competence.

Can a nurse practitioner prescribe medication?

In many countries, nurse practitioners (NPs) are authorized to prescribe medicine. NPs get substantial education and training, including instruction in prescription procedures, as advanced practice registered nurses.

To monitor and treat a variety of health concerns within their specialist area, NPs can, nevertheless, prescribe a wide range of drugs, including both non-controlled and restricted substances, in many locations.

Types of Nurse Practitioners

Here are some of the types of Nurse Practitioners, let’s delve into them.

Family Nurse Practitioner

FNP’s responsibilities are sometimes confused with those of a primary care physician as they both offer care to patients of all ages; however, their duties include.

  • Conducting medical examinations and screenings.
  • Creating treatment programs for non-acute conditions.
  • Because of the ageing population and rising medical professional scarcity in the UK, FNPs’ holistic primary care is essential to the larger healthcare system.

Paediatric nurse practitioners

Working with children of all ages, these practitioners provide care in a variety of aspects including private practices as well as public health sites. They support patients and their families in managing their medical treatment as well as understanding it.

PNPs in acute care (PNP-AC) offer paediatric children with acute, and critical care. PNP-ACs work in specialty-based clinics, emergency rooms, and ICUs of paediatrics.


The patients in their adult as well as teenage years are cared for by adult gerontology nurse practitioners. Hospitals, private clinics, and patient homes are just a few of the places where AGNPs can work.

They help elderly people with their healthcare demands since they are skilled in handling the particular needs and processes that come with the ascending age.

Psychiatric practitioners

PMHNPs may be able to prescribe drugs to control and relieve symptoms associated with mental health problems. In addition to partnering with other healthcare providers, PMHNPs are essential in providing complete and holistic care to persons with mental health difficulties and in fostering overall mental well-being.

They can meet the particular demands of people who are struggling with mental health issues because of their specific understanding.

Women's Health Nurse Practitioners

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners are those who are nurse practitioners with a focus on women’s health and offer complete gynaecologic treatment. They provide a variety of services about women’s sexual and reproductive health.

They are crucial and essential in encouraging reproductive health and attending to women’s specific healthcare requirements throughout their lives.

How To Become a Nurse Practitioner

As a nurse practitioner how to become, is the biggest question of those opting for this field. A certain educational and licensing process must be followed to become a nurse practitioner. An outline of the actions needed to become an NP is provided below.
Steps To Becoming a Nurse Practitioner - Infographics by

First Getting a Nursing Degree

Being a registered nurse is a must for becoming a nurse practitioner. To accomplish it, you must obtain one of the following aspects.

  • A diploma or certificate in registered nursing obtained from a hospital nursing program that qualifies you for a position as an entry-level registered nurse. For career help, you may get help from reliable nursing sites such as Online Nursing Essay Help,
  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN): Two years are usually needed to get this degree.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): The normal duration of a BSN program is four years. Compared to the other, this nursing degree offers the most complete education and has a handsome starting pay.

Professional Experience as a Nurse

As clinical experience is really important for professional life, especially in healthcare so, you’ll also need some nursing experience as soon as you’ve obtained your degree. Moreover, you may work in other specific areas during this time, like doing different internships, jobs, etc.

Get Certified in a Specialty Field

To obtain a license you will need to pass the national certification exam area after completing your advanced degree program. These assessment tests evaluate the advanced knowledge and expertise in the field of your own choice.

Obtain a License

The final step is to get a nurse practitioner license. You must speak with the licensing board as the procedure differs depending on different states.

Role of Nurse Practitioners in the field of Medicine

In order to comprehend the significance of nurses in the modern healthcare system, we must examine the duties performed by registered nurses, including their interactions with patients and collaborations with other healthcare professionals.

Nurses Give Patients More Time

Recall a recent visit to the doctor. Most likely, a nurse was the first person you encountered after checking in at the front desk. Probably made what seemed like a casual chat between checking your vitals and inquiring about your health. But it was more than simply light conversation to break the ice or make you feel more comfortable.

Research shows that more time is spent by nurses with patients in hospitals. Approximately 86% of the time that patients in critical care saw at least one healthcare professional was spent with nurses, compared to just 13% with physicians, according to recent research. The amount of time spent with nurses increased considerably more in the event of overnight hospital stays.

Nurses in the Role of Patient Advocates

Nurses have a crucial role as advocates for their patients’ care because of the unique insights they gain from spending time with them about their needs, wants, behaviours, and health practices.

A nurse’s advocacy job can also take many other forms. For instance, a nurse may discover crucial information during a conversation with a patient’s family member that was overlooked and communicated to the medical staff. Alternatively, a nurse may phone the pharmacist to discuss concerns that a medicine is not functioning as intended.

The Nurse's Role in Patient Health Monitoring

It is impossible to examine the function of nurses in the intricate healthcare system of today without bringing up the subjects of record-keeping and patient care monitoring. The function of nurses on the front lines of care was covered previously. Nurses are the ones who check on patient’s day in and day out, but doctors and other members of the care team do as well.

Pay and the Scope of Nurse Practitioners

The nurse practitioner pay UK

Year Pay
2021-2022 £38,890 to £49,360
2022-2023 £59,135 or more

The Scope of Nurse Practitioner

The scope of practice for nurse practitioners in the UK is vast. The practitioners are qualified to conduct extensive clinical evaluations, along with other healthcare duties for the welfare of patients.

They can handle difficult medical situations and offer specific therapies since their responsibility goes beyond providing ordinary care. NPs make a substantial contribution to the provision of high-quality healthcare in a variety of healthcare settings thanks to their extensive training and expertise.

What are some difficulties Faced By Nurse Practitioners?

Nurse practitioners usually deal with a bundle of difficulties and challenges in their work, let’s get to know some of them.

  • Different jurisdictions have different practice rules, which might restrict their autonomy and capacity to offer complete care.
  • NPs face obstacles in getting paid which makes it harder for them to make ends meet.
  • In certain areas, there is also a scarcity of NPs, which results in heavier workloads and less access to treatment.
  • NPs frequently run into regulatory obstacles, which vary between states and healthcare systems.
  • Restrictive practice rules, limitations on prescription power, and the need for cooperative agreements with physicians are a few examples of these obstacles.
  • Developing cooperative connections with doctors and other medical professionals might present difficulties as well.
  • Finally, NPs may find it challenging to manage administrative duties, maintain current knowledge of changing healthcare legislation, and engage in continual professional development.


In conclusion, nurse practitioners are essential members of the medical community who help people from simple physicals to complicated illnesses. NPs provide patients the tools they need to take an active role in their treatment through their patient-centred approach and emphasis on education.

In some states they are even compared to MBBS doctors and physicians, however, their importance in the healthcare community is non-evitable. Nurse practitioners play a vital role in creating healthier communities by enhancing access to high-quality care and encouraging health as well. The blog represents everything you should know about a nurse practitioner, helping students who are opting for this field.

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