Welcome to my blog! I've pondered creating this for sometime now as I've searched the Web along with other blogs for current nurse practitioner-related content and have been unable to find much. This is my attempt to provide accurate and current information regarding Nurse Practitioner practice.
My main goal is to start a healthy dialogue among nurse practitioners, other healthcare professionals and patients alike. There are a lot of misconceptions, inaccuracies and feelings about what nurse practitioners can/can't and should/shouldn't do. I've come across dozens of blog posts that are just plain wrong and hedge on bashing the profession. I hope to clarify some of these misconceptions in the hopes of providing the best barrier-free care possible to patients alongside other members of the healthcare team.
For those of you unfamiliar with a Nurse Practitioner, lets start with a definition from the American College of Nurse Practitioners:
"Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses who are prepared, through advanced education and clinical training, to provide a wide range of preventive and acute health care services to individuals of all ages. NPs complete graduate-level education preparation that leads to a master’s degree. NPs take health histories and provide complete physical examinations; diagnose and treat many common acute and chronic problems; interpret laboratory results and X-rays; prescribe and manage medications and other therapies; provide health teaching and supportive counseling with an emphasis on prevention of illness and health maintenance; and refer patients to other health professionals as needed.
NPs are authorized to practice across the nation and have prescriptive privileges, of varying degrees, in 49 states. The most recent Health Resources and Services Administration Sample Survey report (2004) shows 141,209 Nurse Practitioners in the United States, an increase of more than 27 percent over 2000 data. The actual number of nurse practitioners in 2006 is estimated to be at least 145,000."
Thanks for reading, please write comments and check back often. I hope to post regularly.