Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are licensed independent practitioners who practice in ambulatory, acute and long term care as primary and/or specialty care providers. According to their practice specialty they provide nursing and medical services to individuals, families and groups. In addition to diagnosing and managing acute episodes and chronic illness, nurse practitioners emphasize health promotion and disease prevention. Services include but are not limited to ordering, conducting, supervising, and interpreting diagnostic and lab tests and prescription of pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies. Teaching and counseling individuals, families, and groups are a major part of nurse practitioner practice. As licensed independent practitioners, nurse practitioners practice autonomously and in collaboration with health care professionals and other individuals to assess, diagnose, treat and manage patient’s health problems/needs. They serve as health care researchers, interdisciplinary consultants and patient advocates. Entry level preparation for nurse practitioner practice is at the master’s, post master’s or doctoral level. Didactic and clinical courses prepare nurse practitioners with specialized knowledge and clinical competency to practice in primary care, acute care, and long term health care settings. Self-directed continued learning and professional development beyond the formal advanced education is essential to maintain clinical competency. (Citation from the Scope of Practice Standards of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners)