Difference Between RN (Registered Nurses) and NP (Nurse Practitioners)

RN (Registered Nurses) vs NP (Nurse Practitioners)

It is true that both RN and NP are two nursing roles that show some differences between them. RN stands for Registered Nurses whereas NP stands for Nurse Practitioners. Registered nurses or RNs are qualified nursing professionals whereas nurse practitioners are registered nurses too with the responsibility of diagnosing and treating certain clinical conditions.

It is important to note that the registered nurses are health care professionals whereas nurse practitioners undertake two years of nurse practitioner training and degree level qualification. RNs should have earned 2 to 4 year degree in Bachelor of Science in nursing or nursing science.

RNs find placement in the areas of infection control, health promotion and patient health care. NPs on the other hand are employed in the areas concerned with obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, mental health and elder care.

Both RN and NP differ in terms of their work scope. RNs are usually employed to look after patient care organizations in offices, educational institutions and community health services for that matter.

NPs on the other hand are employed with a view to get them involved in diagnosing and treating diseases and illnesses. They are also adept in carrying out the examinations such as X-rays and other physical examinations of the patients. They are supposed to prepare medical histories of the patients as well.

One of the main differences between NP and RN is that NP can prescribe medications as she is licensed to conduct diagnosis of the diseases. She can be either supervised or not supervised by a physician. Hence they are allowed to work independently. RN on the other hand is not allowed to work independently. They have to necessarily work in the health care organizations and they are not entitled to prescribe medications.

In Brief:

- RN stands for Registered Nurses whereas NP stands for Nurse Practitioners

- RNs are health care professionals with 2 to 4 year degree in Bachelor of Science in nursing or nursing science. NPs need to undergo two years of nurse practitioner training in addition to degree level qualification

- NP can prescribe medications whereas RN cannot

- NP are allowed to work independently whereas RNs are not