Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with additional education. Extra schooling allows these professionals to take patient histories, perform physical exams, order labs, analyze lab results, prescribe medicines, authorize treatments and educate patients and families on continued care.

Nurse practitioners, also known as advanced practice registered nurses, specialize by patient population, training to work in areas like women’s health or pediatrics. They may also work in research or academia.

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A Nurse Practitioners job sounds similar to a physician’s role, right? So, what’s the difference? The main contrast is the amount of formal education required. Physicians have more training, and their breadth of knowledge and their salaries are usually commensurate with their additional work. However, increasingly – and somewhat controversially – nurse practitioners are providing primary care to patients.

Many nurse practitioners first worked as registered nurses where their treatment of patients extended to holistic and wellness care, and a NP brings that background to his or her diagnosis, treatment and management of medical issues.

Nurse practitioners are handsomely paid for their work, with the top 50% taking home six-figure salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 52.4 percent employment growth for nurse practitioners between 2019 and 2029. In that period, an estimated 110,700 jobs should open up.

More facts

Medium income is nearly $110K

NP unemployment is a low 1.2%