Celebrating National Nurse Practitioner Week: What is a nurse practitioner?

NursingOctober 27, 2020

The second full week of November is National Nurse Practitioner Week, an annual event that celebrates this exceptional type of healthcare provider. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), nurse practitioners (NPs) are “licensed, autonomous clinicians focused on managing people’s health conditions and preventing disease.” 

While their responsibilities can vary depending on their state and specialization, NPs often perform physical evaluations and exams, order or perform tests, and diagnose patients. They may also develop individualized treatment plans, follow up on those courses of treatment, and work closely with other healthcare professionals. 

NPs provide a high quality of healthcare. According to the AANP, Americans make over one billion visits to NPs each year. Patients under the care of NPs often report high levels of satisfaction with their service. They also have fewer ER visits, shorter hospital stays, and lower medication costs. 

Because of their popularity with patients, NPs are in demand not only to help the patient population, but to ease the burden on overtaxed physician time and expense. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of nurse practitioners is projected to grow more than 40 percent from 2019 to 2029. This growth is largely due to an increase in the demand for healthcare services due to an aging population and an increased emphasis on preventive care.

A nurse practitioner can be a good “next step” for your career after you become a registered nurse (RN). To obtain this advanced practice designation, a Registered Nurse must complete their bachelor’s degree (BSN), and then continue their education with a master’s or doctorate nurse practitioner degree program. NPs typically choose a specialization, such as pediatrics, adults, family, geriatrics, neonatal, acute care, women’s health, and more. 

If becoming a NP sounds like a rewarding career goal, then take the first step by getting started on your nursing education with Fortis. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career counselors.