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The nitty gritty on Nurse Practitioners

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  • Written By: Felicia Messimer

Nurse Practitioners (NP) are quickly becoming the health partner of choice for millions of Americans. As clinicians that blend clinical expertise in diagnosing and treating health conditions with an added emphasis on disease prevention and health management, NPs bring a comprehensive perspective to health care.

All NPs must complete a master's or doctoral degree program, and have advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse preparation. They are licensed in all states and practice under the rules and regulations of the state in which they are licensed. NPs provide high-quality care in rural, urban and suburban communities, in many types of settings including clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care sites, private physician or NP practices, nursing homes, schools, colleges, and public health departments.

Working independently and in collaboration with health care professionals and other individuals, NPs provide a full range of primary, acute and specialty health care services, including:

  • Ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays.
  • Diagnosing and treating acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections, and injuries.
  • Prescribing medications and other treatments.
  • Managing patients' overall care.
  • Counseling.
  • Educating patients on disease prevention and positive health and lifestyle choices.

What sets NPs apart from other health care providers is their unique emphasis on the health and well-being of the whole person. With a focus on health promotion, disease prevention, and health education and counseling, NPs guide patients in making smarter health and lifestyle choices, which in turn can lower patients' out-of-pocket costs. Patients who see NPs as their primary care provider often have fewer emergency room visits, shorter hospital stays and lower medication costs.

With over 870 million visits made to NPs each year, patients report an extremely high level of satisfaction with the care they receive. By offering high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care, NPs provide more than 248,000 solutions to the primary care shortage facing America today.

This week (November 11-17, 2018) is Nurse Practitioner Week! As clinicians who blend clinical expertise in diagnosing and treating health conditions with an added emphasis on disease prevention and health management, nurse practitioners bring a comprehensive perspective to health care. We’d like to say thank you to all of the nurse practitioners who practice in our community and continue to provide Excellence Every Day. Learn more about the providers at CCH at

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