Nursing
Nurse Practitioner

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Salary: $57,000 - $75,000
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Hourly: $35.09 - $42.51
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Outlook: 4 Stars
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Length of Training: 6+ years
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Career Explorer
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Roadmap
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A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is an advanced practice nurse. They obtain medical histories, perform physical examinations, diagnose patients with chronic diseases, treat and monitor acute and chronic illnesses, order and interpret lab tests and x-rays, provide health education and disease prevention information to patients, and discuss disease prevention strategies with the public. Nurse practitioners also provide prenatal care and family planning. They prescribe medications and medical treatments.

Collaborating with physicians and other healthcare professionals, nurse practitioners help provide comprehensive healthcare for the patient. While they refer patients to physicians when necessary, nurse practitioners may practice independently through a written protocol or document established with their collaborative physician. Nurse practitioners are also educators and researchers. They work under the rules and regulations of the Nurse Practice Act of the State of Texas.

Areas of Specialization
Nurse practitioners can specialize in a number of areas including adult health, family health, geriatric/elder health, pediatrics/child health, psychiatric/mental health, school/college health, emergency care or women’s health, which includes perinatal care and neonatal/newborn infants’ health. In Texas, a nurse practitioner may practice and prescribe medication without the oversight of a physician, provided the appropriate protocols are in place.

Work Environment

Nurse practitioners can work in diverse settings including hospitals (inpatient and outpatient units), health maintenance organizations, freestanding nurse-run primary care clinics, private practice offices, extended-care facilities, home health organizations, and schools.