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There are many different types of nurse practitioner careers, in which NPs perform different types of care. However, they are all experienced nurses who have sought
out advanced education and training through nurse practitioner programs to start a nurse practitioner career.

Nurse Practitioners Role?

NPs are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who have skills and practice abilities that go above and beyond those of registered nurses (RNs). An NP’s responsibilities will vary depending on the specific nurse practitioner career path she or he is pursuing and practice restrictions in the state in which she or he practices. The NP scope of practice typically includes the authority to:

  • Perform advanced physical assessments
    • Diagnose acute and chronic health problems
    • Develop treatment plans
    • Order diagnostic tests and provide referrals
    • Prescribe medications (prescribing authority will vary by state)
    • Order non-pharmacologic treatments
    • Educate patients

Family Nurse Practitioner Careers

One of the most popular types of nurse practitioners is the family nurse practitioner (FNP). FNPs provide family primary care to patients of all ages, usually within a primary care setting. FNPs can treat patients from birth to the elder years, including frail elderly patients.FNPs also play an important role in empowering patients
to care for themselves by educating patients and their families about managing conditions, caring for injuries, or making healthier lifestyle choices.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Careers

Acute care nurse practitioners provide patient care in hospitals and other settings where there are patients who need immediate medical treatment due to injury or illness.
They can diagnose, treat, and provide patient education about injuries and conditions. They can also provide healthy lifestyle counseling.

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Careers

Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners work with patients from the late teenage years onward, providing treatment for acute and chronic conditions in a primary care setting, such as health clinics, or as a hospitalist in acute or long-term care. Some adult-gerontology NPs may work with specific populations,
such as college students, correctional facility inmates, or military patients.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Careers

Neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs) care for the very youngest and most vulnerable patients: newborn infants who are very sick, premature, or injured after birth.
NNPs take complete responsibility for their patients, monitoring specialist equipment such as incubators, assessing the infant’s physical condition, prescribing medications, and administering interventions. This type of nurse practitioner has knowledge and skills to cope with neonates who need resuscitation, neonates who were
exposed to drugs in utero, and ensuring parents can bond with their seriously ill child.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Careers (Acute or Primary Care)

Pediatric nurse practitioners treat infants, children, and young people under the age of 21. They may work in primary care settings, performing many of the same duties as a family nurse practitioner. They also may work within hospitals and clinics on a pediatric acute care team. In addition to providing diagnoses, creating treatment plans, making referrals, and prescribing medications (subject to state laws), pediatric NPs can also provide counseling and advice to children, young people,
and their families.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Careers

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) provide primary mental health care to patients coping with mental illness. PMHNPs can assess patients’ mental health needs, provide psychotherapy or mental health counseling, and prescribe medication to treat a full spectrum of psychiatric disorders. PMHNPs can also provide family counseling services. PMHNPs often work in private practice. This type of nurse practitioner can also work within health-care teams at hospitals, correctional facilities, military facilities, schools, and other institutions where a mental health practitioner may be needed on call.

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Careers

Women’s health nurse practitioners (WHNPs) provide primary or acute care to older girls and women of all ages. WHNPs can provide OB/GYN care, including pap smears,
pelvic exams, prenatal care, and counseling or advice to women navigating menopause. They can also make referrals to specialist OB/GYN practices.