People like Carli Larson are unique. They fill career niches that are cross-categorical. Simply put, she, and many others, have enough education and experience to fill multiple medical needs. A nurse and a nurse practitioner can be one and the same, and when they are, they can fill more than one medical position and medical need. Here is how that typically works, and why Ms. Larson is, and can be, both nurse and nurse practitioner.
Registered Nurse Education
You can take the long way or the short way to becoming a registered nurse. Many nurses take the long way, which involves a four-year nursing degree from an accredited college of nursing. The short way is an expedited two-year associate's degree in registered nursing which forces you to go through four years of education in two. However, people who choose the four-year approach can diversify to become specialist nurses, or become nurse practitioners. This additional step requires six months to another two years of education.
Nurse Practitioner Education
To become a nurse practitioner, you have to complete the registered nursing program, licensing, and registration first. As a graduate of the registered nursing program, you can then enroll and begin the nurse practitioner coursework. This career path leaves you just shy of a doctorate in nursing, but allows you the ability to prescribe medications as patients need them without having to see a doctor or additional medical professional. A nurse practitioner acts, in many ways, like a doctor because he/she has the ability to address patient health concerns and provide treatments for those concerns. A nurse practitioner can also refer patients to specialists and therapists, as the need arises.
If You Are a Nurse Practitioner, You Are Both a Nurse and a Practitioner
If and when someone labels themselves as a nurse and as an NP, they are telling the truth. They had to become a nurse before they could become an NP, and all of the other steps on the nursing career ladder along the way were also achieved. If an NP wants to list that he/she is also a registered nurse, an LPN, a CNA, etc., he/she can do that because each of those lower rungs on the nursing ladder were achieved as he/she worked to become an NP. Ergo, regardless of what kind of nursing professional you need (short of a Doctor of Nursing), you can get by seeing someone like Carli Larson, who has experience and education in multiple areas of nursing.