What does a Nurse Practitioner do?

Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses whose advanced training and graduate education enable them to provide high-level primary care to people of all ages. They work in collaboration with physicians and other health professionals. With the increased need for primary care providers, there is a particularly high demand for nurse practitioners nationally and across the commonwealth of Virginia.

What might a Nurse Practitioner do in a workday?

Nurse practitioners:

  • take detailed health histories and perform complete physical exams.
  • diagnose patients and decide treatment plans.
  • treat common acute conditions, illnesses or minor injuries.
  • provide health management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes.
  • prescribe medications.
  • counsel patients and their families on preventive care, health problems and treatment alternatives.

Developing a Career as a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners sometimes specialize in one or more areas, such as acute care, pediatrics, adult, family, women’s, geriatric or school health. Depending on their interests, nurse practitioners may work in private medical offices, clinics, schools, health maintenance organizations, health departments or hospitals. Some have their own private practices.

How much salary do Nurse Practitioners make?

Annual Mean Wage

How do I become a Nurse Practitioner?

Students interested in becoming certified nurse practitioners should take challenging high school courses in science, math and English, including advanced placement courses.

To become a nurse practitioner, students must first complete education and training to be a baccalaureate-prepared registered nurse. In addition, they must complete an accredited master’s degree program, which includes 24 months of course work and 800 hours of clinical experience, and pass certification examinations. Nurse practitioner programs are graduate-level programs.

Where else can I learn about becoming a Nurse Practitioner?

Professional Associations:

Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners
250 W. Main Street
Suite 100
Charlottesville, VA 22902

(434) 977-3716

Virginia Nurses Association
6912 Three Chopt Road
Suite H
Richmond, VA 23226

(804) 282-1808

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
P.O. Box 12846
Austin, TX 78711
(512) 442-4262

State License Requirements for Nurse Practitioners

A license is required to practice as a nurse practitioner in the state of Virginia. For more information on licensure, applications and forms, visit www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing.

Virginia Board of Nursing
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive
Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233

Phone: (804) 367-4515
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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