Frequently Asked Questions
Why Choose a Nurse Practitioner as your Healthcare Provider?
What are Nurse Practitioners (NPs)?NPs are advanced practice nurses who provide high-quality healthcare services similar to those of a doctor. NPs diagnose and treat a wide range of health problems. They have a unique approach and stress both care and cure. Besides clinical care, NPs focus on health promotion, disease prevention, health education, and counseling. They help patients make wise health and lifestyle choices. They are truly your Partners in Health.
How long have NPs been providing health care?NPs have provided excellent health care for more than 43 years. The first NPs were educated at the University of Colorado in 1965. Programs soon spread across the U.S. as of 2007, there are about 120,000 practicing NPs. Close to 6,000 new NPs are prepared each year at over 325 colleges and universities.
How are NPs educated?NPs have graduate, advanced education and clinical training beyond their registered nurse preparation. Most have master’s degrees and many have doctorates.
Where are NPs licensed to practice and how are they licensed?NPs are licensed in all states and the District of Columbia. They practice under the rules and regulations of the state in which they are licensed. Most NPs are nationally certified in their specialty area and are recognized as expert healthcare providers. The faith that patients have in NPs is shown by the almost 600 million visits made to NPs every year.
Where do NPs practice?NPs practice in rural, urban, and suburban communities. They practice in many types of settings. These include clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care sites, private physician or NP practices, nursing homes, schools, colleges, and public health departments, to name a few.
What services do NPs provide?From treating illness to advising patients on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, NPs provide a full range of services. Patients who see NPs report an extremely high level of satisfaction with the care they receive.
Among the many services that NPs provide, they:
- Order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays
- Diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections, and injuries
- Prescribe medications and other treatments
- Manage patients’ overall care
- Spend time counseling patients
- Help patients learn how their actions affect their health and well-being
More and more people are choosing NPs as their primary, acute, and/or specialty healthcare provider. In addition to being top-notch healthcare providers, NPs deliver a unique blend of nursing and medical care. They provide comprehensive, personalized health education, and counseling. NPs assist patients in making better lifestyle and health decisions.
NPs have distinguished themselves from other healthcare providers by focusing on the whole person when treating specific health problems and educating their patients on the effects those problems will have on them, their loved ones, and their communities.
By providing high-quality care and counseling, NPs can lower the cost of healthcare for patients. For example, patients who see NPs as their primary care provider often have fewer emergency room visits, shorter hospital stays, and lower medication costs.