A nurse practitioner acts as a specialty and primary care provider to patients as well as families. A nurse practitioner studies patients and patient conditions in order to create a treatment plan to manage or improve the patient's health. Nurse practitioners also create health promotion strategies for patients.
Nurse practitioners may choose to focus on a certain type of patient, such as: adults, senior citizens, infants, children, or psychiatric and mental patients. Nurse practitioners usually work independently and can order tests or prescribe medication. When necessary, a nurse practitioner works alongside another health professional, such as a doctor, in order to better treat the patient.
A nurse practitioner spends a majority of her time on her feet and is susceptible to back pains and injuries since she often has to move patients. The job also requires an individual to operate in close proximity to a number of drugs and infectious diseases, which requires adhering to safety precautions in order to avoid exposure, needle pricks and upset patients.
Nurse practitioners are also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses and usually carry out the same tasks as registered nurses. Practitioners are often employed in physician offices, colleges, outpatient care centers, professional schools, patient homes and hospitals.