Do Not Fear the Option of Seeing a Nurse Practitioner Instead of a Doctor
By Ronayne Herbert, RNP
Nurse Practitioners are Registered Professional Nurses who have advanced training and education in the diagnosis, management and treatment of acute illness and chronic disease. Many physician practices and hospitals now employ nurse practitioners (NP’s) in a variety of settings such as primary care, internal medicine, women’s health, pediatrics, oncology and acute care to name a few.
NP’s practice collaboratively with physicians. This collaboration optimizes the care of the patient for many reasons. First and foremost, NP’s are nurses with a broad base of knowledge and expertise. They bring a comprehensive perspective to health care. NP’s have a unique emphasis on the well-being of the whole person.
Focusing on health promotion, disease prevention and management, NP’s offer health education regarding chronic and acute diseases and counseling on the management, prevention and treatment of these conditions. This wholistic approach is key to maintaining healthy individuals.
In turn, this care lowers health care costs and makes for healthier individuals. Nurse practitioners see more than 900 million visits annually and their patients report an extremely high level of satisfaction. This high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered care has been shown to improve patient outcomes and is helping provide care to millions of people across the United States.