Nurse Practitioners (NP) are registered nurses who have completed advanced education, having a Master’s degree, and also advanced training. This graduate level education enables them to provide healthcare services similar to those provided by physicians.
NPs are state-licensed and are nationally certified in their area of expertise. Nurse practitioners can diagnose, treat illnesses, manage chronic conditions, order and interpret tests, and prescribe medications and other treatments. NPs focus on both care and cure, reflecting their nursing and medical foundations. NPs promote a comprehensive approach to healthcare by emphasizing prevention, wellness, and patient education.
The Nurse Practitioner profession was established in the mid 1960s, in response to a nationwide shortage of physicians. Nurse Practitioners helped expand the delivery of quality healthcare during that time, and still do so today.