A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has advanced formal training in caring for the sick and have knowledge of how to diagnose, treat and manage many common ailments. Nurse practitioners also focus heavily on education. They are excellent primary care providers because their background includes knowledge of both holistic and wellness-oriented programs, which spotlight education, risk identification and preventative care. Like physicians, nurse practitioners provide high level primary patient care. They perform some of the same functions as a physician.
- Identify and treat acute and chronic illnesses
- Order and analyze labs and other diagnostic tests
- Prescribe medications
Where doctors and nurse practitioners differ most is in the time spent on their respective educations and the types of patients they typically choose to see.