The definition of a Nurse Practitioner is: a Registered Nurse who has advanced his or her education to the point where he or she has a Master’s in Nursing and additional certification and training that allows them to do many of the duties a physician can and often works in place of a physician in clinical settings.
Therefore, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner is someone who is certified beyond their Master’s degree to work in a pediatrics office with children on a daily basis. When a regular pediatrician has a caseload that is bigger than that pediatrician can handle and his or her schedule is booked solid, a majority of their infant and children patients can be seen by the NP. A lot of people tend to think that the NP is a doctor because they are able to prescribe medication and order specific medical exams, but again, their title gives it away. They are Advanced Nurse Practitioners. They may even consult with the pediatricians on the care of their little patients or be supervised by the pediatricians in some states.
A Family Nurse Practitioner has earned the title and certification to treat members of the entire family, not just the children. The scope of their skills is broader, serving infants to the elderly, women and men. They are able to order more diagnostic tests and prescribe a larger list of medications than a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. It doesn’t stop there; from gynecological exams to prostate exams and even sports physicals and annual wellness checkups, the Family NP does a lot more for entire families and multiple generations within the same family than the Pediatric NP does.
Essentially then, their educational paths are the same. They will start out by first earning their bachelor’s degree in nursing and working as Registered Nurses. From there, they return to school to earn a Master’s and possibly even a doctorate in nursing. To finally reach the point where they are titled Family or Pediatric NP or Advanced NP, they have to take additional training and testing and pay for the licensing for each specific career path. Some NP’s, if they choose, may opt to become more than one class of NP. Family NP’s also, on average, earn more per year than Pediatric NPs because of their broader knowledge base and skills with working with patients of all ages.
Both are able to work in hospitals, public clinics, private clinics, and even open their own clinics working for themselves to serve the public. The last option is especially advantageous because an NP with his or her own clinic can see hundreds of patients in a year and not have to depend on a company or medical corporation for their paycheck. They might have to hire additional help for reception and billing so as to focus more on their patients, but a lot of NP’s report it’s worth it and a lot of patients like being able to see the same medical professional consistently. The laws in each state governing what an NP can and can’t do are located at the individual state’s board of nursing website.
Also find out, “Family Nurse Practitioner vs Adult Nurse Practitioner“.