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What is a Nurse Practitioner?

Guest Author - Helen V. Calalang-Javier, MSN, RNC,IBCLC

Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) is a highly educated and experienced nurse within their specialized field of nursing practice. This interdependent practice involves multidisciplinary partnership and collaborative practice with the physician. Nurse Practitioners are getting more popular in the community as the primary health care provider working alongside with the doctors. According to Ann Hamric, one of the authors and editors of the book entitled, “Advanced Nursing Practice, An Integrative Approach: “Definition of Advanced Practice,” the core competencies of a Nurse Practitioner involves consultation, collaboration, clinical and professional leadership, expert coaching and guidance, decision-making skills, and direct clinical practice. The scope of practice differs from each state and regulated by federal laws.

Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Midwife, Nurse Anesthetists are collective referred to Advanced Nursing Practice (APN). Advanced nursing practice is actively transforming and evolving. There are new roles included in APN positions such as Nursing Administration, Case Management, and soon Doctor in Nursing.

Professional Role of a Nurse Practitioner

The NP is provides medical and nursing services to individuals or families based on their specialty training. When a sick individual goes to see the doctor, don’t be surprise to see the NP who will be responsible for examining, diagnosing, treating, and giving prescription. In addition, the NP can request laboratory tests and other diagnostic procedures such series of blood tests, MRI, EKG, etc. or whatever the sick individual needs before coming up with the right treatment plan. The NP will also spend more time with the patient for health counseling, education, and guidance. After all, the main goal of their practice that differs from a regular nurse is to maintain good health and state of wellness and prevent illness. Other roles will include giving immunizations, conducting annual check-ups, and managing health problems or needs, providing health education to the individual or family and conducting health forums for the community.

The NP works in partnership with the doctors and maintains good relationships with other health care professionals like the social worker, physical therapist, nutritionist, and other specialists such as the cardiologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, and internist, etc. The NP is also a good patient advocate, a researcher, and interdisciplinary consultant.

Preparation for the New Role

In order to receive the title Nurse Practitioner, one must be a registered nurse first and completed the masters, post-masters degree or even doctorate degree before qualifying to take the license or certification to be an NP. During the course of educational preparation, a lengthy practicum of 800 hours or even more must also be completed. Once licensed/certified as NP, it is important to attend continuing education as required to keep up the license/certification and maintain the clinical skills. Participation to national nursing organization is also necessary to be active in any political actions and give support to the organization.

Are you ready to become a Nurse Practitioner? To read more about becoming a Nurse Practitioner visit the website, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

This book is is recommended if you want to know more about Becoming a Nurse Practitioner:

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Content copyright © 2015 by Helen V. Calalang-Javier, MSN, RNC,IBCLC. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Helen V. Calalang-Javier, MSN, RNC,IBCLC. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


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