Difference Between NP and MD
NP vs. MD
Differentiating a NP from a MD is fairly easy. Basically, a NP is a Nurse Practitioner, whereas a MD is a Doctor of Medicine. Hence, NPs are nurses, while MDs are physicians.
MD is a title – doctoral degree for doctors (medical) – that’s only granted by their schools. This is the simplest meaning of a MD. However, in some countries, both the scope and the requisites to become one may vary. The case is the same with Nurse Practitioners (NP), wherein their scope of practice is being dictated by the rules that govern the medical codes of the state or country.
Generally, Nurse Practitioners perform the same functions as the traditional Registered Nurse (RN). They can assist with diagnostic tests, provide initial treatment, assess patients, chart medical histories or data, and do some health teachings or active follow-ups on the general well being of their clients. However, they only differ from RNs in the sense that they are licensed to prescribe medicines or drugs. This is where their functions overlap with those of the MD.
NPs can perform almost the same task as the doctors, but take note that they are only nurses, and not doctors. Besides from prescribing medicine, NPs, like doctors, can also diagnose medical conditions. They can work independently in medical care facilities and hospitals, even without the support of an MD. This is contrary to RNs, who need the guidance of an MD. Due to this, they can act as one of the primary care professionals. Thus, they are often described to be the bridge between the RN and the MD.
In terms of educational requirements, NPs must meet all the requirements needed for an RN, including the passing of a state or national license examination. After this, the RN can upgrade his or her status into a full pledged NP, by taking another 2-year education or training program. This is the equivalent of attaining a standard Master’s degree for college graduates. After its completion, he or she will once again be asked to take another NP national examination.
Conversely, MDs require more years of training and practice to become an MD. In most countries, one needs to take an additional four-year medical course, on top of the four-year college degree to qualify for the medical board. This is equivalent to the standard doctorate degree, for example, a PhD. Nevertheless, licensed doctors can take residencies and further education for them to specialize in more complicated medical fields.
1. A NP is a nurse, while a MD is a doctor.
2. A NP is licensed by the Nursing Board, whereas a MD is licensed by the Medical Doctor’s Board.
3. A MD’s education requirements are more extensive compared to those of the NP.
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