Me: So I will send over your prescriptions now. Do you have any other questions?
Patient: So you are like a training MD? What do I call you?
Blair: Blair, No I am a nurse practitioner. It is a RN that has an advanced degree to perform procedures, diagnosis, treat, set a plan of care and prescribe medications.
Patient: So… you are a half doctor.
Me: Nope…still a nurse practitioner.
So what is a Nurse Practitioner?
I have noticed that the general public seems to be a little confused about what exactly a nurse practitioner (NP) is. I have been called everything to a medical assistant to a doctor in training. I am sometimes called a PA or physician assistant, which is another wonderful advanced practice provider position that is very similar to an NP. So what exactly is an NP?
A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who obtains an advanced degree (i.e. Master degree, post-graduate certificate, Doctoral degree). They are the nationally board certified (AACN or AANPCP) and licensed by state. This enables us to do such things like diagnosis, assess, treat, order and interpret diagnostic tests, set a plan of care, perform simple procedures, and prescribe medications. There are over 200,000 nurse practitioners in the United States.
AARP (my parents told me about it) has an excellent article about the role of the nurse practitioners which can be found here. Should you let a NP treat you? Absolutely! We tend to treat holistically, seeing patients as a whole. Plus, we are excellent listeners.
Let me be your NP!