Why should I choose a nurse practitioner?

A nurse practitioner (NP) offers a unique emphasis on the health and well-being of the whole person. With a focus on health promotion, disease prevention, and health education and counseling, NPs guide patients in making smarter health and lifestyle choices.

What is the difference between a physician and an NP?

A physician is a person with formal education and training in medicine, i.e. the treatment of diseases using drugs, procedures and/or surgery.  A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with a formal education in the care of the sick plus advanced education and training in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of common and chronic illnesses.

Can an NP do everything that a physician can?

No, but they are similar in that they both diagnose, treat, and manage acute and chronic diseases, order and interpret labs and diagnostic tests and prescribe medications. Studies have found that NPs do about 80% to 90% of what physicians do. Both professionals practice the healing arts but they do so from different perspectives.

How does NP care compare to physician care?

NPs care for patients in all aspects of their lives. Many physicians choose specialties in which to practice because of their expert knowledge of disease states. Physician and NP care overlaps and is complementary, but each has a core expertise that is distinct and unique. The NP’s focus is holistic and wellness-oriented in that it emphasizes health education, risk identification and reduction, and preventive care through lifestyle modification.

How can I learn more about NPs?

For more information about NPs and their areas of expertise, please refer to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.