A nurse practitioner is a medical professional with very specific training that often serves on the front line of medical care. In this capacity, nurse practitioners are a critical part of the medical field. Their expertise and training can help get a patient diagnosed, treated, and back on their feet again.

What Does a Nurse Practitioner Do?

A nurse practitioner will often see a patient before a doctor does, if a doctor does at all. They will likely be involved extensively in patient intake, recording symptoms, performing observations, and more. A nurse practitioner may make diagnoses and offer treatment recommendations.

Nurse practitioners, like doctors and other medical professionals, may become specialists in certain areas of medical care. They may also earn certifications in these areas. This allows nurse practitioners to become experts in a certain field. 

Nurse practitioners rarely work in isolation and are often found as part of an overall medical team, working with doctors and other medical professionals in order to determine the best treatment options for patients. They work in a variety of medical settings, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, and more.

a nurse holding a clipboard talking to a young child in the doctor's office

What Training Does a Nurse Practitioner Have?

A nurse practitioner is a formal title that can only be used after extensive training. All nurse practitioners will have some sort of undergraduate degree, usually in Nursing. They will then enter graduate school, where they will earn a graduate degree in some sort of nursing field. They will also have to pass a test in order to formally earn a nursing license. 

It is important to note that different states allow for nurses to practice differently. Some states allow for nurse practitioners to have full practice authority, meaning they can practice medicine on their own. Others require that this practice is done in conjunction or under the formal supervision of a doctor. 

Can a Nurse Practitioner Practice via Telemedicine?

Absolutely. Indeed, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, many of our nurse practitioners have switched to a telemedicine model. This enables our staff to see more people and keep you safe, in your home.

Do you have more questions about your health in Salem, OregonContact our friendly staff at WFMC Health or become a new patient today!

This post was first published on wfmchealth.org.