Can Nurse Practitioners Diagnose?

Can nurse practitioners diagnose?

To diagnose diseases, disorders, and conditions you must be a nurse practitioner or a physician, according to the British Columbia of Nursing Professionals.

Registered nurses have the authority to diagnose conditions only.

To the question “Can nurse practitioners diagnose?” the answer is: “Yes, nurse practitioners can diagnose”.

But this answer is not yet entirely complete, so keep on reading.

Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners can do diagnoses but it depends on the state where you live.

Also, all nurse practitioners consult with doctors and other health professionals when needed.

Diagnose is a clinical judgment about your patient’s physical or mental condition.

You have to think about it what’s causing the signs or symptoms you’ve recognized. This requires knowledge of anatomy and the human body and education!

I, Ida Koivisto, am a registered nurse. I can’t do diagnoses. I can check a patient’s conditions only.

I think that doing diagnoses is very difficult and it really requires a lot of knowledge and education. It also involves huge responsibility.

Can nurse practitioners diagnose mental illness?

Well, this is a good question. This depends on many things. The biggest thing is where state you live. But usually, you need to be a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner PMHNP.

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners assess diagnosis.

Also, they treat those who are mental health problems and work closely with patients.

They prevent, identify, and manage mental symptoms in different ways. PMHNP and psychiatrists have similar job duties. 

So ”Can nurse practitioners diagnose mental illness?” Yes if they are a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. But also it depends on the state where you live.

See also: Can a Nurse Diagnose a Patient?

I think that there is a big difference between working on the somatic side and working on the psychiatric side. I have been a trainee at both.

And yes it is different.

On the psychiatric side, work is more about talking, while on the somatic side, doing things is concrete like measuring vital and doing treatment things all the time.

But both have their own sides.

See also: Can a Nurse Practitioner Prescribe Medication?

Can nurse practitioners diagnose depression?

Can nurse practitioners diagnose mental illness?

Depression is a mental illness. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the main cause of disability worldwide.

Depression has exploded in young people according to this research.

In actual depression, the main symptom is depressed mood or markedly reduced interest or pleasure. The symptom will last most of the day without interruption for at least two weeks.

See also: Can Nurses Order Lab Tests?

Working as a nurse, I think that mental illness things are very difficult. They require special knowledge from the nurse. What makes it also difficult is that often depressed people do not realize that they are depressed.

A depressed person needs help to heal.

But “Can nurse practitioners diagnose depression?” Like I said it depends where state you live in. The second thing you must be a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner PMHNP. A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner is focused on psychiatry.

Can nurse practitioners diagnose anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal human feeling that temporarily increases a person’s intellectual and physical performance.

However, intense and uncontrolled anxiety does not improve performance, it causes problems at work, at study, and in interpersonal relationships.

Anxiety is a symptom in almost all psychiatric conditions. Depression and anxiety often coexist. They also have similar treatments.

See also: Can You Be a Nurse With Depression and Anxiety?

So anxiety is also a mental illness like depression. And they often coexist. ”Can nurse practitioners diagnose anxiety?” The answer is the same as above.


  • Registered nurses can not do diagnoses.
  • Nurse practitioners can do diagnoses but it depends on the state where you live.
  • Mental illness can diagnose psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner PMHNP

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About Ida Koivisto, BSN, RN, PHN

Ida is both a registered nurse and public health nurse. Her passion is to provide as much valuable information about nursing to the world as possible. In her spare time from work and blogging, Ida loves to work out at the gym and spend time with relatives.