There are many types of nurses, each with a different amount of education which determines what kind of treatment they can provide for their patients. Your local nurse practitioners are the highest type of nurse. Unlike other types of nurses, your local nurse practitioners can prescribe medications and perform a wide variety of lab tests. Really the only things that your local nurse practitioners cannot do are performing surgery or working in specialized medicine. Otherwise your local nurse practitioners can do anything that a doctor can do. Some local nurse practitioners are specialized in general family medicine. These types of local nurse practitioners are known as family nurse practitioners. Oftentimes these local nurse practitioners are the only health care providers in a small town or rural area within the United States. They provide routine screenings and checkups then whenever they find something that requires a specialist they simply refer the patient to a medical doctor. Otherwise they are able to deal with routine health problems, give preventative health care, show you how to live a healthier lifestyle and teach health education. Your local nurse practitioners are able to work in numerous types of settings such as clinics, hospitals and even in nursing homes. Many of them also have their own private practices. This is especially true in those small towns and rural areas that were mentioned earlier.