It’s no coincidence that on the first day of National Nurse Practitioner Week, I ended up having coffee with one of my old grad school NP buddies. He just moved back to California after spending almost 15 years in the Philippines, where he completed his medical degree among various other adventures. “There are so many opportunities for Nurse Practitioners in the United States,” he said as we discussed his new job as an NP at a Men’s health clinic.
The evolution of the Nurse Practitioner role
“If Dr. Ross, from the television show ‘ER’ and Nurse Jackie, from the show ‘Nurse Jackie’ had a baby it would be a Nurse Practitioner.” That’s what I would tell people when they asked me what an NP was. I frequently used the opening line when I gave lectures to high school students regarding the NP role.
A Nurse Practitioner is a nurse who has a master’s degree and has completed a graduate level of education at a university. All NPs are registered nurses who are licensed by the Board of Registered Nursing in the state where they may be practicing. NP’s have an expanded scope of practice over the traditional registered nurse role and may vary from state to state.
Loretta Ford and Dr. Henry Silver created the NP role in the 1960’s in Colorado due to a need to increase access to pediatric patient care. Dr. Ford believes that NP’s providing primary care of high quality can solve the access to patient care issues in America.
Dr. Ford and her colleagues initially started as public health nurses setting up clinics at various community centers, schools, and churches in Boulder Colorado. Like a true innovator Dr. ford noticed that only her colleagues and herself were taking care of public health issues in the underprivileged community setting. She realized that nurses needed to have expanded roles and specialized training to make basic decisions on their own.
Full practice authority
According to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, there are 22 states and the District of Colombia where NP’s are permitted full practice authority. Full practice authority permits NP’s to evaluate patients; diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests; and initiate and manage treatments, including prescribing medications and controlled substances indecently. The National Academy of Medicine and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing recommend this model.
NP’s do more than just prescribe medications and diagnose health issues
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to see a nurse practitioner, you’ve probably figured out they are amazing educators. That’s my favorite part of being a nurse practitioner, teaching. Straight from Dr. Loretta Ford’s mouth, teaching patients and to ultimately empower them to advance to self-care is the goal of the NP.
Types of NP’s
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Family Nurse Practitioner
Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Many NP’s choose to pursue a subspecialty and acquire training outside of traditional nurse practitioner programs. These may include:
Nurse Practitioners as business owners
Many nurse practitioners have found their niche and started their own businesses. Much like Dr. Loretta Ford, NP’s who have started their own businesses where they noticed there was a problem, and they came up with the solution. In many states, NP’s can open their own clinical practices.
Are you a Nurse Practitioner searching for a fresh start?
Have you thought about quitting your job or selling your house to move to a rural town? Or are you wanting to do the opposite and seek new adventures in a big city?
It sounds like a scene right out of the Netflix binge worthy show ‘Virgin River.’ Why not make it a reality and work locum tenens? You too can have a ‘fresh start,’ and work in a new town. You never know who you’re going to meet in places like North Carolina, Georgia, California, New York, Texas, Louisiana, Montana, or Tennessee. Some of these assignments offer incredible perks like housing, loan repayment and special bonuses.
Medcare staffing places physicians, advanced practitioners, pharmacists and dentist in locum tenens, contract positions and permanent jobs. Contact us now by filling out this form or by calling 888-474-3380. Click here to view assignments.