what an nP looks like
What is a Nurse Practitioner?
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a nurse with advanced training to the level of at least a masters degree. They can assess patients, make diagnoses, perform different types of medical procedures, and prescribe medication. NPs work in diverse health care settings from hospital acute care to community health centers and primary care offices to nursing homes and home care.
NPs are seen for over 870 million health care visits every year in the United States. In most medical offices, the type of care provided by NPs and Physicians is indistinguishable for a patient. Research shows, however, that on average NPs spend more time with patients per visit compared to Physicians, have more consistency in patient satisfaction surveys, and have equal patient health outcomes with fewer repeat visits (although average patient population for NPs is slightly less medically complex than that of Physicians; healthier people need fewer health care visits)
History & Philosophy
A health care role that grew out of a shortage of providers in rural communities in the mid twentieth century, NPs have always been pioneers and innovators. Today there remains a gap in the supply and demand for primary care providers, especially as the population ages. We continue to be key contributors in addressing this ongoing need and ensuring patient-focused health care.
The majority of nurse practitioners work in a primary care setting with a team of doctors, nurses, and medical assistants. We focus on health promotion, disease prevention, education and counseling to emphasize the health and well-being of the whole person. NPs work with people to make smarter health and lifestyle choices, helping them achieve their goals and optimum level of health.