Nurse practitioners hold an advanced degree in nursing, either a Masters or Doctorate level. They are advanced practice nurses and are qualified to serve as primary and specialty health care providers under the supervision of a physician. They are equipped with a high level knowledge and can offer a variety of nursing and health care services to their patients. Nurse practitioners often decide to specialize in a specific area such as womens health, neonatal nursing, family practice, pediatric nursing or geriatric nursing. There are many health care fields that a nurse practitioner can choose to specialize in. They enjoy a greater degree of autonomy than a typical staff nurse and have a deeper knowledge of nursing. They can perform many of the same duties as a physician and in some states they are even allowed to prescribe medicine. They diagnose illnesses, create and implement treatment plan, analyze test results and provide specialized health care. Many nurse practitioners work with a physician in a hospital setting or private doctors office. Some nurse practitioners run their own private practice in a specialty field of nursing. Regardless of which route you decide to take, institutions like Our Lady of the Lake University online offer programs to further your nursing education.

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