“What is a Nurse Practitioner?”
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses who have additional education and nursing experience, which enables them to:
- Autonomously diagnose and treat illnesses
- Order and interpret tests
- Prescribe medications
- Perform medical procedures
NPs are health-care professionals who treat the whole person, an approach that includes:
- Addressing needs relating to a person’s physical and mental health
- Gathering medical history
- Focusing on how an illness affects a person’s life and family
- Offering ways for a person to lead a healthy life
- Teaching persons how to manage chronic illness
Where do nurse practitioners work?
NPs work in a variety of health-care settings, such as:
- Community care (community clinics, health-care centres, physicians’ offices and patients’ homes)
- Long-term care (nursing homes)
- Hospitals (outpatient clinics, emergency rooms and other patient areas)
- NP-led clinics
What kind of health-care services does a nurse practitioner provide?
NPs provide a wide range of direct care services to people at every stage of life. In addition to treating illnesses, they teach individuals and their families about healthy living, preventing disease and managing illness. NPs bring together medical knowledge with the values and skills of nursing. NPs are also leaders, consultants and researchers who incorporate new knowledge into their practice.
Do nurse practitioners replace other health-care professionals? Will I still be able to see my doctor?
NPs work with, rather than replace, other health-care providers. They are part of a collaborative team that includes registered nurses, doctors, social workers and others. While seeing an NP, you can still see your family doctor or any other health-care provider.