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What is a Nurse Practitioner? Understanding the Qualifications and  Capabilities of These Underappreciated Medical Professionals - RoundTable  Medical Consultants

Can Nurse Practitioners Do Surgery?

A nurse practitioner (N.P) is a registered professional nurse (R.N.) who practices in the health care delivery system by collaborating with healthcare professionals and the interdisciplinary team to manage, plan, implement, delegate, and evaluate patient-centered healthcare.

This includes the physical, mental, emotional, social, environmental, financial, and spiritual well-being of patients. N.Ps practice in all settings where people receive healthcare services. Examples include hospitals, schools, clinics, nursing homes, worksites, community organizations, home care, long-term care facilities, corporate health programs, military or veterans’ organizations.

A nurse practitioner works with patients to keep them well and treats a range of health concerns, from the common cold to chronic illnesses. Nurse practitioners treat patients of all ages, from babies to the elderly. They diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medications, order lab tests and x-rays, and provide treatment and education.

Nurse practitioners also manage chronic conditions—conditions that last a long time or come back often. Some nurse practitioners specialize in a particular area of medicine such as pediatrics or surgery. In addition, some nurse practitioners work as educators, researchers, administrators, or consultants within their field.

Despite the name, nurse practitioners are professionals who have advanced education and training. They can provide treatment for many common illnesses and injuries. But what makes them different from doctors?

can nurse practitioners do surgery?

The answer is, Yes, nurse practitioners can do surgery, especially in surgical specialties such as dermatology and OB/GYN.

This is one of the many reasons why nurse practitioners are becoming more and more valued in the healthcare system. Nurse practitioners can do surgery, but not as a substitute for a full physician. Rather, they can perform a lot of the same duties as a physician assistant or a registered nurse. All areas involved in patient care are up to you to choose from.

The term surgery is very complicated and for serious operations, nurse practitioners are required. The actual surgery is done by the physician but nurse practitioners perform many other functions in the operation theater.

A nurse practitioner spends more time with the patient and their families and knows more about the state of the patient than the surgeon.

Duties of a nurse practitioner in the operation theater

  • The operating room ( O.R) nurse is involved in the planning and preparing for the operative procedures, as well as the transporting of surgical patients.
  • The O.R nurse is responsible for obtaining preoperative demographic data, assessment of surgical risk factors, and maintaining the standards of practice at all times.
  • The O.R nurse records the patient history.
  • They have to prepare the mind of the patient for surgery by answering all the questions about surgery.
  • Shaving the area of surgery.
  • Fixing leads of the monitors, checking blood pressure and sugar level throughout the surgery.
  • Administer anesthesia and sedation according to legal requirements.
  • Authorize lifesaving interventions such as surgical tracheostomies and chest decompression, if appropriate.
  • Performs dressing changes and prevents post-surgical complications by monitoring vital signs, assessing appropriate levels of pain control.
  • Recognizing warning signs of complications.
  • Notifying the surgeon/physician immediately if any change in patient status occurs.
  • The main duty is to assist the surgeon and provide him with the tools required for the surgery.
  • When the surgery ends the nurse practitioners close the surgical area by stitching it.
  • After the stitching process, the nurse practitioner transfers the patient to the ward or private room.
  • Nurse practitioner is responsible for looking after the patient in the recovery ward, the patient’s dressing, medications, and diet all are the responsibilities of a nurse practitioner.

Can nurse practitioners do the abortion?

There are some surgeries that a nurse practitioner can perform without the help of any surgeon. They can do surgery for facial skin cancer, breast surgery, and abortions.

If it is first-trimester abortion, then these nurse practitioners or trained midwives can do abortion easily. But this task can be performed only by trained practitioners.

In the US and some other areas like California nurse practitioners are allowed to conduct abortions. In California, 13% of women had to face miscarriages or abortion at the start of 2nd trimester because it is the most critical state. But still, in some areas, a non-physician is not allowed for abortions.

Difference between doctor and nurse practitioner

If you were to visit a health care facility, the first person you would meet is probably a nurse practitioner. A nurse practitioner (N.P) is an advanced level of nursing that allows practitioners to diagnose and treat illnesses, injuries, and diseases. But what’s the difference between an N.P and a doctor? Here are some important facts:

Though a doctor and a nurse practitioner do similar jobs, there are some differences between these two medical professionals. A doctor must complete 4 years of college, followed by 4 years of medical school, and at least one internship. This training takes approximately 12-14 years to complete.

In comparison, a nurse practitioner receives an associate’s degree from an accredited school of nursing. A nurse practitioner then completes a three-year program in the field of family practice or internal medicine, or a two-year program in general pediatrics or geriatrics.

Doctors are licensed to prescribe medicine and commonly treat severe medical ailments, while nurse practitioners can diagnose, prescribe medicine, and treat common medical problems.


In conclusion, based on the information included in this report, nurse practitioners have the ability and training to perform surgeries as a member of a surgical team.

Their practice can be regulated around certain procedures and protocols, which would need to be set by state government insurance companies. A nurse practitioner may also do minor surgery under the direction of a doctor. Nurse practitioners are usually not allowed to do major surgery, such as brain surgery, due to the higher level of education required for surgery.

The role of the nurse practitioner is to provide primary care. The nurse practitioner does not work independently but works in collaboration with other health care professionals, which is why it’s important to be familiar with the laws in your state regarding nurse practitioners performing surgery.

About Rachel

Hi my name is Rachel; a registered nurse. I graduated from one of the best nursing programmes and have been working in the medical field for 10 years. As a licensed practical nurse, I understand the plight that comes with the job. While I enjoy taking care of patients, I understand the long working hours that nurses have to deal with. We spend majority of the shifts walking around the medical centre making sure all patients are taken care of and this requires a lot of work and energy on the feet. https://bestnursingshoes.net has been created to help nurses from different parts of the world find the perfect shoes to reduce the strain on your feet and posture and make the job much easier.

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