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What Do Nurse Practitioner Do?

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Job Description Diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. May focus on health promotion and disease prevention. May order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x rays. May prescribe medication. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Responsibilities

  • Develop treatment plans, based on scientific rationale, standards of care, and professional practice guidelines.
  • Advocate for accessible health care that minimizes environmental health risks.
  • Schedule follow-up visits to monitor patients or evaluate health or illness care.
  • Diagnose or treat complex, unstable, comorbid, episodic, or emergency conditions in collaboration with other health care providers as necessary.
  • Maintain current knowledge of state legal regulations for nurse practitioner practice, including reimbursement of services.
  • Maintain complete and detailed records of patients’ health care plans and prognoses.

Qualities of a Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Nurse Practitioners state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Other Nurse Practitioner (NP) Job Titles

  • Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Cardiology Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Nurse Practitioner

Are There Job Opportunities for Nurse Practitioners?

There were about 155,500 jobs for Nurse Practitioner in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 36.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 56,100 new jobs for Nurse Practitioner by 2026. The BLS estimates 14,400 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Nurse Practitioners in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Nurse Practitioner (NP) are Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Mississippi, or Nebraska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Salary

The typical yearly salary for Nurse Practitioners is somewhere between $78,300 and $150,320.

Salary Ranges for Nurse Practitioners

Nurse Practitioners who work in California, Hawaii, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Nurse Practitioners in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $95,970
Alaska $122,880
Arizona $110,750
Arkansas $104,300
California $133,780
Colorado $111,210
Connecticut $118,020
Delaware $108,340
District of Columbia $109,800
Florida $101,100
Georgia $106,750
Hawaii $120,570
Idaho $102,600
Illinois $105,800
Indiana $103,200
Iowa $106,290
Kansas $99,430
Kentucky $99,790
Louisiana $105,340
Maine $103,220
Maryland $115,060
Massachusetts $122,740
Michigan $106,880
Minnesota $119,160
Mississippi $109,700
Missouri $102,470
Montana $103,510
Nebraska $103,800
Nevada $112,540
New Hampshire $109,460
New Jersey $122,100
New Mexico $109,810
New York $120,970
North Carolina $104,100
North Dakota $106,200
Ohio $101,970
Oklahoma $103,280
Oregon $110,010
Pennsylvania $98,250
Rhode Island $109,290
South Carolina $99,910
South Dakota $100,690
Tennessee $95,990
Texas $111,060
Utah $105,840
Vermont $106,000
Virginia $105,170
Washington $117,650
West Virginia $100,690
Wisconsin $106,790
Wyoming $116,030

What Tools do Nurse Practitioners Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Nurse Practitioners:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • MEDITECH software
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Epic Systems
  • Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS
  • Medical condition coding software
  • GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
  • Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR
  • eClinicalWorks
  • e-MDs software
  • Allscripts Professional EHR
  • SOAPware EMR

How do I Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP)?

Education needed to be a Nurse Practitioner:

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP)?

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Work Experience

Nurse Practitioners Sector

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Sectors

Nurse Practitioners work in the following industries:

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Industries

Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Nurse Practitioner might also be interested in the following careers:


Image Credit: Aleksahgabrielle via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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