It’s National Nurse Practitioner Week!!
You may have seen the celebratory posts on FB, especially since we tend to tag our fellow Nurse Practitioners with whom we have worked, or who went through the trenches of graduate school with us while we worked and raised our babies at the same time – a grueling time to say the least! But each and every one of us looks back on those times, and we are SO thankful we pushed through. (Maybe that’s why we celebrate it in November?)
What is a Nurse Practitioner?
What does that title mean? Most NPs are Registered Nurses with years of experience caring for patients under the direction of a physician, or another Nurse Pracitioner’s guidance. Most NPs have a Master’s degree, while some go on to earn their doctoral degree, but ALL are required to take a National Certification Exam in their specific area after completing their advanced practice degree.
Nurse Practitioners take medical histories, listen to concerns, perform physical exams, diagnose, perform many in-office procedures. Yes, we also treat and prescribe for medical diagnoses and conditions.
Prior to beginning our chosen Nurse Practitioner program, most of us have had many years of training in the healthcare field. We then choose to go on to study and learn the process of caring for patients of all ages at a more autonomous level – and not without much scrutiny from our faculty who want to ensure we do not escape their program without being able to ace the national certification exam, not to mention providing the best care available to all of our future patients!
Don’t Just Take it From Me
I wanted to share information about our roles as Nurse Practitioners to squelch any unnecessary concerns and reassure you that not only are we qualified to care for you and your precious children, but we do so while improving ever-rising healthcare costs, improving quality of care, and relieving the wait for medical care to be provided in many cases. The following articles show all of this to be true.
Nurse Practitioner vs Doctor – What is the difference? Jacksonville University provides information in this article.
Doctors vs. Nurse Practitioners – This following article highlights multiple articles comparing the professions and outcomes.
The Texas Nurse Practitioners organization promotes and supports local Texan NPs. They have all good things to say about Nurse Practitioners.
The Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health group even provides the ability to search for an NP in any location.
A Physician Isn’t Always Necessary
So, the next time you are in a pinch at your or your child’s medical appointment, ask the staff if a Nurse Practitioner is available, because if you haven’t been seen by an NP in the past, I’m sure you will be happily surprised with the quality of care you and your family receive!