The Rise of Nurse Practitioners

nurse practitionerThey say the only permanent thing in the world is change. With the ever evolving and developing world that we live in, it does not as a surprise how things that we once thought were impossible are now actually happening. Gone were the days when nurses were looked down as only doctors’ assistants and waiting for their orders to act. Today, the rise of new “doctors” has come into show.

With the rise of nurse practitioners in the health care industry and the lengthened authority that has been bestowed upon them, the power held by doctors in years has become weaker.

Nurse Practitioners: Getting to know them

Nurse practitioners are professional clinicians who can carry out many of the same functions that physicians execute economically without dispensing quality of service. They are registered nurses with a master’s degree in nursing (in some states) and a certain number of years of clinical experience (variable state to state).

What they do:

  • They offer services such as primary, acute and specialty care (including oncology, palliative care, cardiology, aged care, and rural and remote health), but most of them work and focus on primary care. Nurse practitioners preferably choose primary care rather than specialty care.
  • They diagnose and manage acute and chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries
  • They prescribe medications and other treatments
  • They order, perform, supervise and interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and X-rays
  • They provide advanced nursing care and are licensed to carry out clinical care, as well as ordering lab work and X-rays, and are particularly practical in supporting patients with chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • They emphasize on promoting health and the prevention of diseases as well as they serve as a guide of patients in making better choices in their health and lifestyle. By doing so, they help them reduce health care expenses.
  • Treat the whole person, not just a symptom or disease

How to become a Nurse Practitioner

Not every nurse can assert the title of nurse practitioner. Before becoming nurse practitioners, you must first comply with the requirements of such. Complete comprehensive graduate academic nurse practitioner programs with advanced clinical training must be taken ahead of your preliminary registered nurse preparation.

Initially, one must have a BSN degree, must be a Registered Nurse and must have work experience of at least 2 years before entering a NP program. The NP program can last from 1-2 years depending on the chosen program and school.

Currently, there are a total of 180,233 Nurse Practitioners in the United States of America and thousands more in other states. The Philippines, however, does not have Advanced Practice nurses in any area of specialty or practice at present as they do not offer the training in the country as well for this area of nursing.
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Liane Clores, RN MAN

Currently an Intensive Care Unit nurse, pursuing a degree in Master of Arts in Nursing Major in Nursing Service Administration. Has been a contributor of Student Nurses Quarterly, Vox Populi, The Hillside Echo and the Voice of Nightingale publications. Other experience include: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Obstetric, Emergency and Recovery Room Nursing.

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