Nurse Practitioner

What is a Nurse Practitioner

A Nurse Practitioner (NP) begins as a certified Registered Nurse (RN) and continues their education with a minimum of a Masters Degree in a specialized field of Nursing. They are also required to continue their education with clinical practice and coursework.

An advantage of this advanced health profession is the ultimate latitude and responsibility a NP has in interacting with patients. They are able to collaborate with physicians and other health professional and can function as a primary care provider. An NP can take medical histories, make diagnostics and prescribe various treatments and medications. In some states, they can function independently without the supervision of a medical doctor or physician.

The focus of a NP is the ongoing, individual care of patients, including prevention, wellness and education, with an emphasis on a holistic approach. This can result in lower medical costs and a healthier population. In cases where a patient is discharged from a hospital, but still needs ongoing health care, a NP can provide such care at home or on an outpatient basis.

A NP can choose a particular health field, such as primary care, family care, women’s health, pediatrics, geriatrics, or psychiatry. They can work in hospitals, clinics, schools, serve as advocates or health care consultants for businesses and organizations. After completion of a graduate degree, taking about three years, it’s necessary to be certified by the state one wishes to practice in. Each state has slightly different requirements, stated by it’s Board of Nurses.

Historically, the profession of NP is fairly new, with the concept beginning in the 1960’s. The premise was to add to the number of available health care providers, since there was a shortage of medical doctors at that time. This is a interesting career with many options offering personal satisfaction for a person who has leadership qualities, loves acquiring knowledge and helping others as well as having a positive impact on their lives (

This is an expanding career field, in part because of new technology resulting in new solutions to health issues, a longer life expectancy, as well as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Bureau of Labor projects a 26% increase in the need for NP’s between 2010 and 2020, with a median salary of $89,960.

Nursing Assistant Job Description

Nursing Assistant Job Overview

The nursing assistant is responsible for providing care for the following patients:

  • Injured patients in a healthcare facility or setting
  • Patients with disabilities or disabled
  • Patients who suffer from mental illness

These are direct care responsibilities. They may include the following:

  • Feeding
  • Ambulating
  • Bathing
  • Dressing

The nursing assistant will represent the facility by upholding the integrity and high standards. The policies and procedures must be followed. This includes infection control standards and environmental standards. They also have a responsibility to incorporate the facilities philosophy and mission with the quality of care that they provide. Certification is commonly required and must be current and up-to-date; for more, see CNA Certification Scoop.

Job Responsibilities and Duties

  • Perform routine tasks supervised or under the supervision of a registered nurse
  • Take a patients temperature, pulse, and respiration rate or vitals. Document as required
  • Provide hands-on-care to patients. This may be in a variety of settings. This includes nursing homes, health facilities, mental health facilities, and hospitals
  • Answer calls for assistance and obtain additional help if needed
  • Preparation of meals and serve them
  • Lift and move patients while following the proper procedures
  • Report any unusual or violent behaviors
  • Change dirty bed linens and empty bedpans
  • Observe patients patterns, and report any changes to nursing staff
  • Monitor fluid intake and output
  • Monitor patients emotional, mental, and physical conditions
  • Move and store supplies
  • Provide proper skin care
  • Deliver patients to operating rooms
  • Take patients for walks
  • Feed patient and ensure that food is of the right consistency
  • Take patients blood pressure as needed

These are the most common responsibilities of a nursing assistant. These duties may vary within the various facilities. Every setting that a nursing assistant works in will have the appropriate and specialized job duties and description that will ensure that the proper and unique care is provided to every patient. If you are interested in getting you nursing assistant certification or renewal, visit this site.