Who Are Nurse Practitioners (NP)?
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are advanced practice registered nurses and are integral to the U.S. health care system. Today, NPs are mainstream providers in all sectors of health including primary and specialty care. NPs diagnose, treat, and prescribe across a wide range of health conditions to all populations across the lifespan and take a true patient-centered approach to care. Focusing on health promotion, education, and counseling as well as disease prevention, NPs partner with their patients to make better health decisions. There are an estimated 270,000 NPs across the United States and New York has more NPs than any other state at approximately 20,000. NPs care for millions of patients annually and have a 50-year history, validated with numerous patient outcome studies, of providing high quality, personalized care resulting in high levels of patient satisfaction.
- NPs serve as primary care providers for you and your entire family
- NPs offer both primary and specialized health care services
- NPs work independently in collaboration, as needed, with other health care providers
What Specialty Areas Do NPs Cover?
NPs practice in a wide range of health care specialty areas. The New York State Education Department certifies NPs in these specialties:
- Acute Care
- Adult Health
- College Health
- Community Health
- Family Health
- Holistic Nursing
- Obstetrics & Gynecology
- Palliative Care
- School Health
- Women's Health
Where Do NP's Practice?
NPs are found throughout the entire health care system. They practice in independent nurse practitioner or physician practices and in a variety of other health care settings including:
- Armed Forces/VA Facilities
- Community Health Centers
- Employee Health Centers
- Home health Care Agencies/House Call Practices
- Hospitals (including emergency departments, critical care unites &ambulatory settings)
- Mental Health Facilities
- Nursing Homes and Hospices
- Private Practices/Medical Groups
- Public Health Departments
- School Health (elementary, high school and college)
- Specialty practices include:
- Pain Management/Palliative Care
- Sports Medicine
- Urgent Care/Retail Health Facilities
What Can NPs Do?
NPs not only treat physical and mental conditions, they teach you and your family how to get healthy and stay that way. NPs can:
- Diagnose and treat illnesses and perform physical examinations
- Prescribe medications
- Order/interpret radiology, laboratory, and other diagnostic tests
- Educate you and your family about making healthy lifestyle choices
- Perform various procedures such as suturing of wounds
- Have admitting and discharging privileges in hospitals
- Coordinate your health care services
What Are the Educational Requirements for NPs?
NPs must first have a 4 year baccalaureate nursing degree and be a licensed Registered Nurse (RN). NPs are prepared at the Masters and Doctoral levels and build upon their RN clinical experience. This advanced education and clinical preparation allows NPs to deliver high-quality and evidence-based care.
- NPs are required to first be Registered Nurses and maintain on-going licensure
- NPs must complete approximately 40 graduate credits and at least 600 hours of precepted clinical practice
- NPs must have at least a Master's Degree to be eligible to take the national board certification exam
- NPs re-license every three years in New York State and update their national certification every five years through ongoing training and education