Nurse practitioner (NP)

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Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses (RNs) who have advanced education and clinical training. They can perform physical exams, diagnose and treat health problems, order lab work and X-rays, prescribe medicines, and provide health information.

Nurse practitioners may specialize in the care of children (pediatric nurse practitioner), older adults (geriatric nurse practitioner), people of all ages (family nurse practitioner), or people with mental health problems (psychiatric nurse practitioner).

Nurse practitioners are licensed by the state in which they practice. Most nurse practitioners are nationally certified in their specialty areas.




The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.