What is a Nurse Practitioner?
An Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP or NP) is a highly specialized registered nurse with advanced graduate training (master and doctorate level) in preventing, diagnosing, and treating illness. Although ARNPs provide the same services offered by primary care physicians and maintain close working relationships with their MD colleagues, ARNPs often differ from physicians in that they focus on prevention, wellness, and patient education. Family nurse practitioners can see patients of all ages. The core philosophy of the field is individualized health care, so they focus on the unique health needs and concerns of each individual, as well as the effects of illness on the lives of both the patients and their families. Nurse practitioners can serve as a patient's regular health care provider or a consulting specialist in a given medical field
Why Choose a Nurse Practitioner?
Nurse Practitioners provide patients with the information they need to make decisions about their own health. They take the time to listen to patients' concerns, health and otherwise. As such, ARNPs concentrate on education, preventative health strategies and often provide integrative, holistic (all encompassing) health care. According to a study published in the Brithish Journal of Medicine, patients who saw ARNPs in an outpatient clinic said they were more satisfied with the quality of care compared to those seeing physicians.
What Services Do NPs Provide?
- Obtain medical histories and conduct physical examinations, wellness coaching
- Provide immunizations and other preventative, health maintenance care
- Diagnose and treat acute and chronic illnesses (colds, diabetes, HTN), infections, injuries
- Provide prenatal care and family planning services
- Order and interpret diagnostic tests such as x-rays, blood work, and EKG's
- Prescribe medications for all types of health conditions
- Prescribe physical therapy, massage therapy, and other rehabilitation modalities
- Perform procedures such as Pap Smears and IUD insertion, suturing, skin biopsy
- Collaborate with and refer to other health care providers/specialists as necessary
Where Do Nurse Practitioners Work?
Nurse Practitioners practice in a variety of settings, both urban and rural, including:
- Private Offices/Practice
- Community Clinics
- Health Departments
- School/College Clinics
- Home Health Care Agencies
- Nursing Homes
- Health Maintenance Organizations