What Does a Nurse Practitioner Do in the UK?

Nurse practitioners (NP) in the United Kingdom provide a broad range of healthcare services. Aside from the usual roles of taking patient medical history, ordering laboratory tests and performing a physical exam, a nurse practitioner is allowed to write prescriptions and coordinate referrals. Nurse practitioners are allowed to perform a number of procedures, including lumbar punctures and bone marrow biopsies.

A nurse practitioner is considered a specialist nurse in the UK. According to Advanced Nursing Practice Educators, an NP is a registered nurse who has taken and completed an advanced nursing education, which can be a master’s or a doctoral degree. Some registered nurses take the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning before taking an advanced nurse practitioner educational program.

Nurse practitioners are trained and skilled in diagnosis and management of complex medical conditions. They can function with or without doctor supervision or collaboration depending on their knowledge in the medical field.

The profession is regulated by the state. In some states of the UK, nurse practitioners are allowed to work independently and can open their own clinics. Other states also allow them to undertake home visits and provide care to patients with long-term or home-bound diseases. They are,required to obtain a prescription for treatment from a general practitioner preventing compromise of standard medical care.