Nurse Practitioners

Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP)

A certified nurse practitioner (CNP) is a registered nurse who has advanced education and training in a particular area, such as pediatrics or family practice. A nurse practitioner may be a primary caregiver or a direct healthcare provider, and can prescribe medications. They bring a comprehensive perspective and personal touch to patient care.

The role of a nurse practitioner is to administer critical and primary care to patients. This can be in the form of education, general well-being care and disease prevention, health assessments and tests, and diagnoses and treatments.

Here are what CNPs do:

  • Treat chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertions
  • Diagnose and treat acute infections, injuries, and illnesses
  • Talk to patients about effectively managing their health
  • Counsel and educate patients
  • Write prescriptions
  • Order diagnostic tests, such as X-rays and electrocardiograms (EKGs)
  • Record and examine medical histories, diagnoses, and symptoms
  • Assist in designing appropriate treatment plans, and recommend further care where necessary


Education and Experience
Nursing career choices usually stem from a combination of education and experience that prospective nurses obtain during their careers. Nurses can be categorized by the level of education or degree they have, or the type of certification they hold. Others focus on a specific population, like babies, women, or the elderly. Some may choose a particular specialty like surgery or emergency medicine. CNPs have a master’s degree in nursing and board certification in their specialty. For instance, a pediatric CNP has advanced education, skill, and training in caring for infants, children, and teens.

How do Certified Nurse Practitioners Work with Doctors to Provide Care?
A certified nurse practitioner works autonomously to provide direct care to patients ranging from prevention and wellness to caring for illnesses and diseases within their advanced education. CNPs work collaboratively with a physician in a complementary working relationship. The nurse seeks additional guidance and expertise from a physician when complicated patient needs arise.