Reel Doctor Talk

What is the difference between a nurse and a nurse practitioner?

(A question asked of but never answered by Morgan “Ransom” Tookers on The Mindy Project)     


by Smitha R Chadaga, MD

Episode 14 of season 4 of The Mindy Project had MANY seismic events but one question was never answered.  “What is the difference between a nurse and a nurse practitioner?  For those of you who were emotionally okay by the end of that episode to see the amazingly awkward interchange between Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) and Morgan Tookers (@ikebarinholtz) here are some of the basics.  The level of training required for each is different.  A registered nurse needs a minimum of an associate or bachelor’s degree while a nurse practitioner needs at least a master’s degree.  The scope of practice can also differ.  A registered nurse tends to works as part of a team while a nurse practitioner can work on their own.  I count myself lucky to work with inspiring nurses and nurse practitioners on a daily basis.