Nurse Practitioners are an integral part of the healthcare team. The second week in November is recognized as Nurse Practitioner Week. This is a time to “shout out” NPs and their role and contributions to the health of Americans all across the country. According to the AANP National NP Database, 2017 there are more than 248,000 NPs in the United States who serve more than 1 billion patient visits every year. NP’s are the provider of choice or Primary Care Provider (PCP) for millions of Americans. Zing Life Services encourages everyone (even those who consider themselves healthy) to have a pcp. Download your "Get Started" checklist here.
What is a Nurse Practitioner?
A Nurse Practitioner is a nurse first. He/She was a registered nurse first who received additional education and training to diagnose and treat diseases.
What is the difference between a Registered Nurse (RN) and Nurse Practitioner (NP)?
The major difference Is that the RN cannot prescribe medications. A nurse practitioner is licensed to prescribe medicine and diagnose/treat conditioners. All NP”s must maintain their license as a registered nurse in addition to that of the nurse practitioner. The medical board also licenses NP’s.
What exactly is the role of a Nurse Practitioner?
The roles of NP’s can vary as healthcare is ever changing. Most NP’s work directly with patients to provide care. NP’s can diagnose, treat, and manage many acute and chronic illnesses. They can do physical exams, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, educate, counsel and more.
Are Nurse Practitioners Doctors?
Yes, some are. Nurse Practitioners can have a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, which makes them a doctor. Traditionally, only MD or DO have been the only healthcare professionals with a doctorate degree. Some patients choose to call their NP their “doctor” but the providers should always wear a badge and introduce themselves as a NP. Also the signature should always have the level of degree.
NP Facts from American Association of Nurse Practitioners
• 86.6% of NP’s are certified in an area of primary care and 77.8% of all NP’s deliver primary care.
• 97.8% of NP’s have graduate degrees as well as advanced education and clinical training beyond their registered nurse preparations.
• NP’s hold prescription privileges including controlled substances in all 50 states and D.C.
• Malpractice rates are low.
• 95.8% of NP’s prescribe medications. Full time NP’s average 23 prescriptions on average.
• Patients whose Primary Care Provider are NP’s have fever Emergency Room visits and shorter hospital stays, resulting in lower out of pocket costs.
In closing, Nurse Practitioners focus on health promotion, disease prevention and health education along with counseling and guiding patients to make smarter health and lifestyle choices. Zing Life Services proudly supports Nurse Practitioners and their contributions to healthcare. If you need to establish care with a provider then click here to download the checklist to help you get started.