Nurse practitioners are licensed jointly by the Boards of Nursing and Medicine. Almost 8,000 licensed nurse practitioners provide primary and specialized health care to Virginians.
Nurse practitioners are master’s or doctoral prepared Registered Nurses who, through advanced education and clinical experience, provide a wide range of preventive and acute health care services to individuals of all ages.
Nurse practitioners are required to pass a national certifying board exam and maintain board certification which requires continuing education and renewal on a 3-5 year basis.
Nurse practitioners are trained to provide primary and acute care for the entire family and deliver this service in private offices, community health care centers, and free clinics throughout the Commonwealth.
The Virginia Board of Nursing recognizes the following categories of nurse practitioners: Adult, Family, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Neonatal, Women’s Health, Acute Care, and Psychiatric.
Today, many nurse practitioners work in specialty practices including, but not limited to: Cardiology, Oncology, Gastroenterology, Urology, Nephrology, Dermatology, Interventional Radiology, Pain Management, Trauma, Critical Care, Surgery, Pulmonary, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Women’s Health and Internal Medicine.
Nurse practitioners complete health histories and provide comprehensive physical examinations, diagnose and treat many common acute and chronic problems, interpret laboratory results and imaging studies, prescribe and manage medications and other therapies, provide health teaching and supportive counseling with an emphasis on prevention of illness and health maintenance, and refer patients to other health professionals as needed.
Nurse practitioners practice in private/community practice; in hospitals and academic centers; community health centers; long-term care; in Veterans Administration and military hospitals; free clinics; convenient care clinics; and clinics in urban, suburban, rural settings and in underserved areas.