5 Facts You Should Know About Nurse Practitioners

December 22, 2011
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From time to time I include guest posts on my blog and this is one.  I see the role of nurse practitioners in a new healthcare delivery system being significant, so I’m especially pleased to share this post with my readers.

by Brooke Stafford, Nursing Practitioner Student 

From time to time I include guest posts on my blog and this is one.  I see the role of nurse practitioners in a new healthcare delivery system being significant, so I’m especially pleased to share this post with my readers.

by Brooke Stafford, Nursing Practitioner Student 

With the healthcare crisis looming, many patients are likely to be seen by nurse practitioners (NPs).  These are advanced training nurses who often hold a doctorate in medicine and can do many of the common practices and functions of a traditional doctor.  To help you learn more about them, below we have included five facts regarding the nurse practitioner.

  1. There’s tons of them – In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 150,000 nurse practitioners in practice.  They can be found in hospitals, clinics, offices of their own, and other healthcare facilities.
  2. On the rise – The number of students enrolled in nurse practitioner programs as well as those who have graduated have steadily risen.  For example, there were over 20,000 students enrolled in the 2004-2005 academic year, and it rose to over 35,000 just five years later in 2009-2010.
  3. They can prescribe – Ordinarily someone with the title “nurse” cannot prescribe medication.  However, licensed nurse practitioners can prescribe medication in every state and in the District of Columbia.  In 21 states and the District, NPs can even practice medicine independently without physician supervision.
  4. Lower costs – Because the cost for operating as a nurse practitioner is lower than a traditional physician, the cost to the patient is lessened as well.  Visits to an NP can cost about $30 to $50 dollars, or about the same as a co-pay to a doctor.  However, those without insurance can see an NP, and the wait times are far less, with many NPs offering services to walk-in patients.
  5. Specialties – Just as many doctors and nurses go into specialties, so too do NPs.  A few include family medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, geriatric, neonatal, and many others.  Many nurse practitioners are also required to have an extensive education and/or certification in the area they practice in.

Brooke Stafford is a nursing practitioner student and also writes for Family Nurse Practitioner Degrees. The site helps students find the right nurse practitioner degree to fit their needs.

 

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