There are three distinct licenses within the nursing profession in New York State: Registered Professional Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse and Nurse Practitioner.
A Registered Professional Nurse (RN) may:
- diagnose and treat a patient’s unique responses to diagnosed health problems;
- perform health assessments to identify new symptoms of possibly undiagnosed conditions or complications
- teach and counsel patients about maintenance of health and prevention of illness or complications;
- execute medical regimens as prescribed by licensed physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and podiatrists, and,
- contribute as members of an interdisciplinary health care team and as consultants on health related committees to plan and implement the health care needs of consumers.
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) provides skilled nursing care tasks and procedures under the direction of an RN, physician, or other authorized health care provider.
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is an RN who has earned a separate license as an NP through additional education and experience in a distinct specialty area of practice. Nurse practitioners may diagnose, treat, and prescribe for a patient’s condition that falls within their specialty area of practice. This is done in collaboration with a licensed physician qualified in the specialty involved and in accordance with an approved written practice agreement and protocols. Nurse Practitioners are autonomous and do not practice under the supervision of the collaborating physician. (Nurse practitioner specialty areas: Acute Care; Adult Health; College Health; Community Health; Family Health; Gerontology; Holistic Nursing; Neonatology; Obstetrics and Gynecology; Oncology; Palliative Care; Pediatrics; Perinatology; Psychiatry; School Health; Women's Health)