One of the stated goals of National NP Week (Nov 13-20) is to educate the public about nurse practitioners and the important role they play in our healthcare system. For that reason, we have compiled a fast fact reference sheet to dive deeper into this exciting career choice, and see what being an NP is all about.
What is a nurse practitioner?
- Nurse practitioners are highly skilled and trained clinicians who provide primary, acute, and specialty healthcare services. NPs can diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medications, and manage overall patient care.
- NPs play a very important role in community health and disease prevention, as they emphasize the importance of educating patients about their healthcare choices and guide them to healthy lifestyle choices.
- NPs reduce healthcare costs while increasing healthcare accessibility. The high quality, patient-centric care they provide is cost-effective and provides healthcare services to diverse populations in urban and rural communities.
- The majority of NPs are certified in an area of primary care, and approximately three out of four NPs accept new Medicare or Medicaid patients.
What are the education requirements for a nurse practitioner?
Bachelors degree in nursing
Registered nurse license
Graduate nursing education program
National board certification
State NP licensure
6+ years of academic and clinical preparation
What can a nurse practitioner do?
Order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests
Treat acute and chronic conditions
Prescribe medications and treatments
Educate patients to lead a healthier life
Patients whose primary care providers are nurse practitioners have been shown to have fewer visits to the emergency room and shorter hospital stays overall.
Who are nurse practitioners today?
- There are currently 222,000 licensed nurse practitioners in the US
- There are over 350 NP programs that will graduate approximately 20,000 new NPs this year
- The average nurse practitioner is 49 years old and has been practicing for 12 years
- The majority of NPs see three or more patients a day
Nurse practitioners are the providers of choice for millions of Americans seeking healthcare services. NPs are essential to the well being of our society because they bring a comprehensive perspective to healthcare that educates patients and helps members of the community to lead healthier lives.
Aptly named, Enclothed Cognition is the official Medelita blog for medical professionals interested in topics relevant to a discerning and inquisitive audience. Medelita was founded by a licensed clinician who felt strongly about the connection between focus, poise and appearance.