A pediatric nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse who holds a Masters or Doctorate degree in nursing and specializes in treating children. Pediatric nurse practitioners provide the same basic health care services that a doctor can provide such as performing medical exams, diagnosing illnesses and prescribing medication. Unlike less qualified registered nurses, pediatric nurse practitioners are licensed to diagnose illnesses and prescribe medicine without consulting with a physician. A pediatric nurse practitioner performs nearly identical job duties as a pediatric physician such as maintaining patients medical records, performing regular check-ups, diagnosing pediatric conditions and illnesses, treating injuries, educating their patients and treating behavioral problems in children. Their advanced education and licensing also allows pediatric nurse practitioners to order x-rays, CAT scans, blood tests and other laboratory tests. Many nurse practitioners work in their own private medical offices, while some work in hospitals, clinics or doctors offices.

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