What is a nurse practitioner….

Web definitions for nurse practitioner
A registered nurse (RN) who is Master’s prepared with specialized training. Nurse practitioners can work with or without the supervision of a physician. They take on additional duties in diagnosis and treatment of patients, and they may write prescriptions.

Well that is easy enough a definition I suppose. I get asked that all the time. In Ohio, NP’s must work under a Standard Care Arrangment with a physician to practice (there are 15 states where NP’s are completely independent and function very much like your family doctor would.) This does not mean we work for doctors, that we need to have our orders cosigned or that we must follow thier orders. It does mean that we have a physican consultant to help manage patients. I have prescriptive authority, which means I can write prescriptions according to set rules by the State of Ohio and those prescriptions will be honored at any pharmacy.

So what is the difference in the philosphy of care between docs and NP’s. Docs focus on curing diseases and chronic illness. NP’s focus more on disease prevention and health promotion. While the roles overlap a bit, NP’s are not junior doctors, we are full fledged advance practice nurses.

Nurse Practitioners specialize in a specific area of medicine. I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, my subspeciality is childhood cancer and palliative care.

I am very very pro-doctor by the way. Especially in the sub specialities, they have spent 10-12years preparing to practice. I would never be so arrogant to say that I have the same eduational background or training as the docs I work with. I have a great amount of respect for them, and I rely heavily on their expertise. What I bring to the medical party is a decade of experience as a nurse, the skills of the APN and a holistic approach to patient care. I think the doc/np team offers the best health care has to offer.

Just a thought, I have wanted to post this for a long time.

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