What is a Nurse Practitioner?

By Esther Sears, MSN, FNP, AOCNP

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse (RN) who has completed advanced education (a minimum of a master’s degree) and training in the diagnosis and management of common medical conditions, including chronic illnesses. A Family Nurse Practitioner, who may also be referred to by the acronym FNP, is a registered nurse with specialized educational and clinical training in family practice

The license held by a nurse practitioner allows them to practice independently. Nurse practitioners provide a broad range of health care services including performing complete physical exams, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests and prescribing appropriate medications and interventions. Nurse practitioners focus on the whole person and generally spend more time with patients in teaching and health promotion.

A nurse practitioner can serve as a patient’s primary health care provider and can see patients of all ages.

Like other licensed medical providers, nurse practitioners are covered under health insurance. Although Boise Natural Health Clinic does not bill insurance, we provide paperwork to help you get reimbursed.