An NP's Job description

  1. Can someone who is an NP please explain exactly what an NP does?

    I know in a lot of cases they can prescribe medications and they work in doctor's offices at times.

    What I am unclear on is the fact that they seem like doctor's. Is that true?
    NP's don't do bedside care like nurses?

    Which is more stresful, nursing or being an NP? Or is it just a different kind of stress?

    TIA.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Hi I'm not an NP, I'm a CNS (another type of advance practice practitioner). It is a stressful job but a different type of stress. With me, the buck stops with me unless I decide to consult with the MD.

    The job duties vary with each position. Some of us work in hospitals, managing a specific type of patient care, while others work in an office or clinic.
  4. by   juan de la cruz
    I appreciate your interest in our role as NP's. You've come to the right forum to learn more about NP's and what we do. Just likeTraumaRUs wrote, NP's are part of an umbrella group of advanced practice nurses that also includes CRNA, CNM, and CNS.

    It is difficult to explain our job description in a concise way because NP's have different roles and specializations. In general, we do perform duties that physicians traditionally perform. These include history taking and physical assessment of patients, ordering of lab and diagnostic tests, prescribing treatments including medications, and patient follow-up.

    NP's work across a continuum of health care settings from ICU to the community. This, again, has something to do with the variety of our training and specializations.

    NP's do not typically perform the "bedside care" that are included in the RN job description. However, you will find exceptions to this. Although not part of my job description, I personally do not hesitate to help an RN with repositioning a patient in bed or answering a call light if I'm not busy.

    Stress is present in any job whether you are an NP or an RN. Initially, I felt more stressed as an NP because of the higher degree of responsibility to the patient in terms of independent decision-making.
    Last edit by juan de la cruz on Dec 11, '06
  5. by   traumaRUs
    PinoyNP - great answer - thanks for the clarification.

    I too always go back to my RN roots and assist with whatever needs to be done if I'm not busy.
  6. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Thanks for the descriptions.

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