What is a Nurse Practitioner? (The James)

What is a Nurse Practitioner? (The James)


You may have a Nurse Practitioner (NP) as part of your health care team. A NP is a registered nurse with advanced training. NPs have a Master’s or Doctoral degree with other certifications.

NPs focus their work in a specific area of health care. They may specialize in the care of adults, families, elderly, psychiatry or other specialties. Some NPs become specialists in areas such as hematology (blood and blood conditions), oncology (cancer and tumors), endocrinology (glands and hormones) or gastroenterology (stomach, intestines and digestive organs).

NPs are able to provide high quality health care services similar to those of a doctor.


Here is what a Nurse Practitioner may do:

  • Take medical histories and do physical exams.
  • Order, perform and interpret some tests such as lab work and x-rays to help diagnose illness or health problems.
  • Diagnose and treat injuries or health conditions such as infection, high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Order medicines and other treatments.
  • Teach you about your health conditions so you can make good decisions about health care and daily life.
  • Educate and counsel you about how to stay healthy and help prevent illness and disease.
  • Work with others on your health care team to manage your care. If needed, they may refer you to other specialists.
  • Do research or help educate other health care team members. NPs may also help advocate for laws for quality health care.

When you are in the hospital, you can ask your nurse to help you call your NP.


My Nurse Practitioner is:

_________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________


For more information:

  • Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses: www.oaapn.org or call toll free (866)-668-3839
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners: www.aanp.org or call (512) 442-4262



© May 14, 2019. The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

This handout is for informational purposes only. Talk with your doctor or health care team if you have any questions about your care.