What is a Nurse Practitioner?
Nurse practitioners have been in existence
since Loretta Ford and Dr. Henry Silver’s involvement in
the mid 1960’s. Nurse
practitioners are registered nurses who have obtained
additional and extensive advanced education, and have
passed a national certification exam. As highly
skilled, advanced practice nurses, we are able to
provide a full range of health care services including
diagnosing and treating acute illnesses and managing
chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma, and high blood
That sounds like you’re describing a doctor.
Some of the care we provide our patients has
traditionally been provided by a physician. But we
also provide some care that is unique to nurse
practitioners, because we bring our experience and
education as nurses. We work collaboratively
with physicians, as well as other health care
workers such as physical therapists, dieticians,
counselors, and the like. Studies have shown
that a nurse practitioner can provide about 80 to
90% of a patient’s primary health care needs.
When a patient’s needs are out of the scope of our
practice, we make the appropriate referrals and work
collaboratively to fill those needs.
Why would a patient want to see a nurse practitioner?
Many patients prefer a nurse practitioner for
their primary care needs for a variety of
reasons. Nurse practitioners focus on optimal
health and preventative measures to insure wellness.
By giving you the information that you need, we
promote self-care. We take the time to discuss
your concerns or worries. We focus on your
health problems and how they might affect your life
and your family. According to the government study.
The Office of Technology Assessment found that not
only did nurse practitioners provide equivalent
quality of care, they were better at providing
services related to preventive health care and
communication. We have a high level of patient
Can you practice independently of a physician?
Some nurse practitioners own their own
practice. The nurse practitioner, by law, must have
a legal collaborative agreement with a physician who
agrees to consult with the nurse practitioner on
cases which are out of her scope of practice. Other
nurse practitioners are employees of certain
institutions or of physicians, or are partners in a