Nurse practitioners (NPs) are advanced practice registered nurses who provide primary and specialty healthcare services. They are trained to diagnose and treat medical conditions, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and provide evidence-based care.
Nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and other healthcare organizations. They may also provide direct patient care in homes and community-based settings.
The scope of practice for nurse practitioners varies from state to state. In some states, NPs have full practice authority, which allows them to independently provide patient care without physician supervision. In other states, NPs must maintain a collaborative agreement with a physician or work under the supervision of a physician.
According to the Board of Registered Nursing, a nurse practitioner is “a registered nurse who has been educated to provide primary care, including any medical procedures required for their specialty area” (BRN, 2012).
In order to be a nurse practitioner, one must have completed at minimum a Master’s degree in Nursing. There are different types of nurse practitioners, each with a different focus. The six main types of NP’s are: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP), and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) . According to the National Association of Nursing, “Nurse practitioners are prepared, through advanced educational and clinical training, to provide comprehensive primary health care services to individuals of all ages.
Nurse practitioners provide a wide range of services, including:
– Diagnosing and treating common acute illnesses and chronic health conditions
– Ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic tests
– Prescribing medications and other therapies
– Providing preventive care, including health risk assessments, screenings, and immunizations
– Counseling patients on healthy lifestyle choices
– Managing patients’ overall care” (NANP, 2016).
The first nurse practitioner program was established in 1965 at the University of Colorado. Since then, the number of nurse practitioners has grown rapidly. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), there are approximately 248,000 nurse practitioners currently practicing in the United States (AANP, n.d.).
In order to be a nurse practitioner in California, you must also have extensive training in physical diagnosis, psycho-social evaluation, and management of health issues in primary health care that has been certified by the board (BRN 2012). Advanced practice nursing is simply defined as a licensed registered nurse who has obtained graduate education as a clinical nurse specialist, anesthesiologist, nurse-midwife, or nurse practitioner.
There are many different types of advanced practice nurses, but all must meet the criteria set forth by their state’s Board of Nursing in order to be licensed and practice.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are a type of APRN that is “educated at the master’s or doctoral level in nursing and prepared for advanced practice involving independent and interdependent decision making and direct accountability for clinical judgment across a wide range of health care situations” (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2008).
NPs must complete an accredited NP program and pass a national certification exam in order to practice. Depending on the state in which they practice, NPs may also be required to obtain a state-specific license.
The role of the nurse practitioner has evolved over time, and continues to do so as the healthcare landscape changes.
Standard management of the nurse practitioner is done in collaboration with a supervising physician. However, it’s important to remember that the role of an advanced practice nurse (APN) is primarily that of a nurse–a nurses experiences and expertise can provide a great foundation on which to build the APN role. This expanded role allows family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) to examine, assess, and treat patients independently or under supervision as decided by their doctor.
Some of the duties and responsibilities that a nurse practitioner may have include:
– Ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic tests such as x-rays and lab work.
– Prescribing medication and other treatments.
– Counseling patients on lifestyle changes to promote good health.
– Managing chronic health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
– Conducting physical exams and collecting patient medical histories.
Nurse practitioners play a vital role in the healthcare system, providing quality care to patients. They are an important part of the team, working alongside doctors to provide the best possible care.
According to Ylisela, “Nurse practitioners can function in much the same way as a physician but does not have the same license or education as a doctor. In a family practice, the nurse practitioner sees patients of all ages for routine physical examinations as well as for illnesses and minor injuries. The family nurse practitioner assesses any medical conditions the patient is suffering from, then formulates a treatment plan for the patient”.
In order to be a nurse practitioner, you must have gotten your Bachelors of Science in Nursing and then a Masters of Science in Nursing. The average salary for a nurse practitioner is $92,670 per year.
The work setting for a nurse practitioner can really depend on what area they want to specialize in. They could work in a hospital, doctor’s office, or even open their own practice.
Nurse practitioners are able to do a lot of things that regular nurses can do such as take patients vital signs and histories, but they are also able to do things that only doctors can do such as write prescriptions. Some states have different rules about what nurse practitioners are allowed to do. In some states, they are allowed to prescribe medication without the supervision of a physician while other states require them to have a collaborative agreement with a physician.
The family nurse practitioner constantly documents the progress of patient conditions as well as results from diagnostic tests, like x-rays and labs. Not only does she add a treatment plan to the patient’s electronic health record, but the nurse practitioner is also responsible for educating patients and their families about how they can manage their illness. This includes teaching them how to prevent further complications, making lifestyle changes to improve health overall, etc.
As a nurse practitioner, I have the opportunity to work with patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly. I provide comprehensive care for my patients, including physical exams, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, prescribing medications and providing patient education. I collaborate with other healthcare providers, such as physicians, pharmacists and dietitians, to ensure that my patients receive the best possible care.
I enjoy working as a nurse practitioner because it allows me to combine my knowledge of nursing and medicine to provide holistic care for my patients. I am able to make a difference in the lives of my patients by helping them to improve their health and quality of life.