A Nurse Practitioner (N.P. for short) is a healthcare provider who works both autonomously and in collaboration with healthcare professionals to provide expert level care. What sets nurse practitioners apart from other healthcare professionals is their holistic approach to patient care and focus on the overall health and wellness of patients. With highly specialized training, NPs perform functions beyond those of an RN including diagnoses of acute and chronic conditions, ordering diagnostic testing, prescribing medication, interpreting test results and emphasizing the overall health management of patients.
NPs complete either a master’s or doctoral program which includes advanced training and clinical experience. NPs are licensed in all states and operate under the various regulations of the given state in which they practice. Additionally, nurse practitioners are certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and must undergo periodic peer review, clinical outcome evaluations as well as adhere to a code for ethical practices. Every 5 years, NPS must complete rigorous recertification which includes the completion of 1000 hours of clinical practice in their specific area of focus as well as 75 contact hours of relevant continuing education.
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