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What is an Emergency Nurse Practitioner?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

An emergency nurse practitioner is a nursing professional who focuses on caring for patients in an emergency setting. For example, an emergency nurse practitioner may care for patients in emergency rooms and urgent care facilities. Typically, emergency nurse practitioners care for people with acute illnesses as well as those who have suffered serious injuries. A person in this field may also care for individuals who have chronic illnesses that are uncontrolled and require immediate medical attention.

A nurse who uses the title nurse practitioner is basically a registered nurse who has secured advanced training in the field. While a person may become a registered nurse with a diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree, an emergency nurse practitioner usually has a master’s degree at minimum. This individual is usually qualified to evaluate and treat a wide range of medical conditions. In fact, an emergency nurse practitioner is usually permitted to handle many of the care responsibilities a doctor normally would.

An emergency nurse practitioner will likely have many responsibilities.
An emergency nurse practitioner will likely have many responsibilities.

When a nurse practitioner works in an emergency setting, he typically has a range of responsibilities. For example, a person in this field usually assesses patient health when urgent conditions and injuries are present. He may also order laboratory tests and use a range of methods to diagnose patients. In many cases, an emergency nurse practitioner also plans and initiates care for patients once he has evaluated their conditions. He may also refer patients to other health care professionals for further evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.

An emergency nurse practitioner plans and initiates care for patients after she has evaluated the patient's condition.
An emergency nurse practitioner plans and initiates care for patients after she has evaluated the patient's condition.

In some cases, an emergency nurse practitioner also has the job of coordinating a patient’s care after the emergency health care situation has been managed. For example, a person with this title may provide follow-up care instructions for patients. He may also provide health education for a patient and his family members in order to help them understand the patient’s needs going forward. Likewise, an emergency nursing practitioner may provide information to a patient’s primary health care provider so the provider has the information he needs to continue the patient’s care.

The requirements a person has to meet to become an emergency nurse practitioner may depend on the applicable laws in his jurisdiction. Generally, however, an aspiring emergency nurse practitioner has to hold a license to practice as a registered nurse and a master's degree from a nurse practitioner program. In some places, an aspiring practitioner may need to be board certified as well.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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    • An emergency nurse practitioner will likely have many responsibilities.
      By: SeanPavonePhoto
      An emergency nurse practitioner will likely have many responsibilities.
    • An emergency nurse practitioner plans and initiates care for patients after she has evaluated the patient's condition.
      By: michaeljung
      An emergency nurse practitioner plans and initiates care for patients after she has evaluated the patient's condition.