- nurse practitioner
- A registered nurse with at least a master's degree in nursing and advanced education in the primary care of particular groups of clients; capable of independent practice in a variety of settings.Nurse practitioners have been recognized in the U.S. since 1955. State laws regulate their scope of practice and degree of autonomy. By assuming responsibility for preventive care, health education, routine surveillance, and the management of chronic disorders, nurse practitioner s free physicians to render more sophisticated or elaborate diagnostic and therapeutic services. In thinly populated areas they enable patients to receive treatment for most medical problems without having to travel long distances. Some observers have noted that the pursuit by nurse practitioner s of increasing autonomy and their popularity with managed care organizations threaten to diminish the quality of primary medical care.
* * *nurse practitioner n a registered nurse who through advanced training is qualified to assume some of the duties and responsibilities formerly assumed only by a physician abbr. NP called also nurse clinician
* * *a registered nurse with advanced education and clinical training in a specialized area of health care; nurse practitioners can diagnose, prescribe, and perform procedures as regulated by the state employing them.
Medical dictionary. 2011.