Nurse practitioners (NPs) are top-level registered nurses (RNs) who are licensed to carry out advanced roles including patient examination, test requests, diagnosis, and prescription of medications. They are eligible for such licenses after completing advanced level nursing education preparing them to take up roles in specific specialty areas, serving certain members of the population.
NPs are also required to have accumulated relevant experience in practice as an RN and through preceptorship programs. They may also obtain permits to prescribe and dispense controlled medications if their specialty areas require that they prescribe these. NPs may be allowed to practice without supervision depending on the state where they are licensed.
NPs belong to a class of nurses referred to as advanced practice registered nurses or advanced practice nurses (APRNs/APNs) and in Mississippi, they are licensed by the Mississippi Board of Nursing (MSBN). The board acts as a consumer protection agency that regulates the quality of the nursing practice in the state through licensure that is provided for by the Mississippi state code.