Mental Health Services
A Nurse Practitioner (NP)
is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) who has completed the required nurse practitioner schooling: either a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)². They can serve as either a primary or specialty care provider².
Nurse practitioners offer a wide range of acute, primary, and specialty care services, either alone or alongside a doctor¹. The services they can provide are dependent on which state they are practicing¹. In many states now, NPs are licensed to be fully independent practitioners who can prescribe medications and do certain procedures without supervision by a doctor¹.
They can diagnose and treat short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic) problems in doctor’s offices and other outpatient settings¹. Nurse practitioners may also specialize in specific practice areas such as orthopedics, pediatrics, oncology, gerontology, and psychiatry¹.
All nurse practitioners complete a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree¹. NPs then pass a standardized exam to get certification from the specialty nursing board that oversees their practice area¹. Finally, NPs must get a license from their state¹.