What is a Practitioner?
A nurse practitioner (NP) is your partner in health, providing primary, acute and specialty healthcare services similar to those of a physician. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education (most have master's degrees) and advanced clinical training. They bring a unique perspective to health services in that they place emphasis on both care and cure. Along with clinical services, NPs focus on health promotion, disease prevention, and health education and counseling, guiding patients to make smarter health and lifestyle choices.
- NPs practice under the rules and regulations of the state in which they are licensed
- Most NPs are nationally certified in their specialty area
- NPs are recognized as expert healthcare providers
- NPs provide healthcare services in all states and in many other countries around the world
- NPs can prescribe in all 50 states and the District of Columbia
Nurse practitioners provide high-quality, cost-effective healthcare in both rural and urban settings and in facilities such as clinics, hospitals, emergency/urgent care sites, private physician or NP practices, nursing homes, schools and colleges, and public health departments, to name just a few. From treating illness to advising patients on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, NPs are fully qualified healthcare providers. Patients who are seen by NPs report an extremely high level of satisfaction with the care they receive. Among their many services, NPs:
- Order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays
- Diagnose & treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries
- Prescribe medications and other treatments
- Manage a patient's care
Instead of just treating the illness, NPs spend time treating the whole person, helping them realize how their decisions affect their health and well-being.
More and more people are choosing nurse practitioners as their primary, acute and/or specialty healthcare provider. In addition to being a top-notch healthcare provider, an NP is Your Partner in Health, delivering a unique blend of nursing and medical care. NPs assist patients in making better lifestyle and healthcare decisions.
NPs have differentiated themselves from other healthcare providers by focusing on the whole person when treating specific health problems, as well as educating the patient on the effects those problems will have on them, their loved ones and their communities.
By providing both high-quality care and health counseling, NPs can lower the cost of healthcare for patients. For example, patients with NPs as their primary care provider have fewer instances of emergency room visits, shorter hospital stays and often have lower medication costs. This can be attributed to the fact that NPs partner with patients for their health and provide the information necessary to know when early intervention is needed.