What does a Nurse Practitioner do?

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are a type of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) who undergo specialized education and clinical training that allows them to provide advanced care and perform tasks that registered nurses (RNs) are not licensed to do. Nurse practitioners are often specialized in a certain field, such as pediatrics, gerontology, women's health, or mental health. NPs can examine patients, diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication, and treat illnesses, much like physicians do. Their specific responsibilities depend on their specialization and the state in which they practice. NPs may or may not be required to work under the supervision of a physician, depending on the state they work in.

There are different paths to becoming a nurse practitioner. Most aspiring nurse practitioners earn an undergraduate degree in nursing from an accredited program and become an RN first. Then, after getting some experience as an RN, aspiring nurse practitioners must earn a graduate degree, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Nurse practitioners must also be licensed in the state they practice in and pass a national certification exam.

  • Peform physical examinations of patients to evaluate health and diagnose illnesses
  • Order and peform diagnostic tests, such as x-rays and laboratory tests
  • Determine, plan, and initiate appropriate treatment, and adjust treatment if necessary
  • Prescribe and dispense medications
  • Document medical information of patients and maintain electronic medical records
  • Educate, instruct, and counsel patients and families on presenting health problems, treatment plans, and home care, and encourage and promote preventative health care and positive health behaviors
  • Request consultation or referral with other health care providers, such as physicians and clinics
  • Actively maintain knowledge of current medical research and trends, and support research projects
  • Graduate degree from an accredited nursing school, such as a Master of Science in nursing
  • Must have a current license to practice as a nurse practitioner in the state of practice
  • Must have the necessary specialty certification
  • 2-4 years of clinical work experience
  • Must be compassionate and personable
  • Ability to communicate effectively with patients and other medical staff
  • Strong leadership skills, self-confidence, and ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Exceptional active listening skills
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Nurse Practitioner Salaries

Average Base Pay

£39,918 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: £40K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Nurse Practitioner Career Path

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Nurse Practitioner
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Nurse Practitioner Insights

Read what Nurse Practitioner professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Fine Touch Dermatology
Nurse Practitioner
19 Dec 2019

“You work and learn from one of the best dermatologist and hair transplant doctors in the world. in a friendly and fun atmosphere.”

HealthRIGHT 360HealthRIGHT 360
Nurse Practitioner
13 Aug 2021

“There is no assigned admin time which can be easily filed up your workload if you had PTO or vacations.”

Sterling Medical CorporationSterling Medical Corporation
Family Nurse Practitioner
30 Jan 2021

“The pay is good but requires you to work after hours to complete work which is not compensated.”

Excalibur Hotel & CasinoExcalibur Hotel & Casino
On Call
14 Jun 2021

“Advertised Barista position but instead was told this is a fountain position and that being a barista was something I would barley be doing.”

Self Employed Womens AssociationSelf Employed Womens Association
Emotional Well Being Practitioner
12 Jan 2021

“Nice people to work with and enjoyable”

UW MedicineUW Medicine
Nurse Practitioner
29 Aug 2021

“Faculty position as a nurse practitioner (title was teaching associate even though primary responsibility was patient care) with good benefits.”

Northwest ADHD Treatment CenterNorthwest ADHD Treatment Center
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
18 Feb 2020

“My patients were fun and interesting to work with.”

Harmony FoundationHarmony Foundation
Nurse Practitioner
26 Sep 2019

“Nursing and clinical staff great to work with.”

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