Nurse Practitoners in United States Healthcare Essay

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Healthcare workers in the United States work together to provide the best possible care they can for the patients that come into their facility to be seen. Most patients see many different people before they ever come into contact with a doctor. Some type of nurse is likely to be the first professional to come into the room with a patient. Healthcare systems use a nurse practitioner (NP), which is a registered nurse (RN) with more education and specialization, to help treat a patient in a timely manner. According to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, NPs have been providing care to patients for over 45 years. The year 2011 has seen 140,000 practicing nurse practitioners in the United States alone, with 9,000 more expected to …show more content…
Specialization occurs in neonatal (newborn children), pediatrics (0-18 years old), adult and family, and occupational health (safety and health of people). Also, psychiatric (mental illness), geriatric (elderly people), and school, which means the professional works in an elementary to college level institution providing basic care, are also options (Green, 1996, p.38). The 2006 Nurse Practitioner Salary & Practice Survey reported that almost half of its participants specialized in family care (Newland, 2006, p.40). Like any job in the health field, specialization does not need to be determined right away.
Roles of a Nurse Practitioner
The roles of a nurse practitioner are similar to that of a registered nurse, but a NP has more responsibility and works under a physician to diagnose and treat patients. They also perform follow-up appointments with these patients. A nurse practitioner is an essential part of the healthcare team when it comes to preventing illness and educating patients on how to conduct healthy routines. In many states, certain laws allow a nurse practitioner the ability to prescribe drugs to their patients (Green, 1996, p. 37). In the United States, there are over 50 million individuals that do not have health insurance. Many of these people either go without care or die because they do not have the money to pay for the health care they need. People that choose to seek help when they are

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