A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse (RN) who has additional education and advanced training in diagnosing and treating illnesses. They are licensed, autonomous clinicians focused on managing people’s health conditions and preventing disease specializing in different areas of healthcare. NPs follow the rules and regulations stipulated in the Nurse Practice Act of the state where they work. They concentrate on providing all-round personalized care while treating illnesses, prescribing medications, and administering physical examinations.
Nurse Practitioners provide a full range of primary, acute and specialty health care services. They guide their patients in making smarter health and lifestyle choices that can effectively lower the patient’s out of pocket expenses. These services include:
- Managing and coordinate a patients' overall care by obtaining medical histories and perform physical examinations
- Providing immunizations and other preventative childcare services
- Diagnosing and treating acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries
- Identifying, treating, and managing chronic diseases such as diabetes and arthritis
- Ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic tests such as lab work and imagining studies such as x-rays and EKG’s
- Prescribing medications and other treatments such as physical therapy, massage therapy, and other rehabilitation therapy
- Performing procedures such as suturing, casting, cryotherapy, and skin biopsy
- Educating patients on disease prevention and positive health and lifestyle choices
- Referring patients to other specialty health care providers
NPs also stay up to date with the latest regulations, clinical guidelines, research and evidence-based recommendations that help them deliver the unique combination of nursing and medical care to their patients. Patients that utilize NPs as their primary care provider (PCP) typically have fewer instances of visits to the emergency room and shorter hospital stays which results in lower medication costs.