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125,000 Solutions to the Primary Care Shortage - Nurse Practitioners (NPs)
Date:7/22/2009

AUSTIN, Texas, July 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- There are 125,000 solutions to the primary care shortage facing this country - and those solutions are the 125,000 NPs practicing in the United States today. For 45 years, NPs have been meeting the primary and specialty care needs of their patients with the highest level of medical expertise and patient satisfaction. Many people choose NPs as their primary care provider, just as others may select MDs or DOs.

NPs deliver high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, personalized, patient-centered healthcare with excellent outcomes. In addition to diagnosing and managing acute and chronic illness, NPs place a strong emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. Patients appreciate the time that NPs spend with them, the holistic approach NPs have with patients and their families, and their knowledge about the medical issues of the patient.

By providing both expert clinical care and health counseling, NPs can lower the cost of healthcare for patients. For example, patients with NPs as their primary care provider have fewer instances of emergency room visits, shorter hospital stays and often have lower medication costs. This can be attributed to the fact that NPs partner with patients for their health and provide the necessary information so that the patient knows when early intervention is needed.

Among their many services, NPs

  • Deliver a unique blend of nursing and medical care, focusing on care and cure
  • Order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays
  • Diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries
  • Prescribe medications and other treatments

NPs practice autonomously and collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to assess, diagnose, treat, and manage the patient's health problems and needs. They serve as healthcare researchers, interdisciplinary consultants and patient advocates. They are graduates of master's, post-master's or doctoral NP programs, with advanced clinical preparation to provide primary, acute, and chronic care to patients of all ages and walks of life.

Created in 1985 to provide NPs with a unified way to network and to advocate for NP issues across all specialties at the local, state, and national levels, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) has continually served as a major resource for NPs, their patients and other healthcare consumers, to promote excellence in practice, education and research; to provide legislative leadership to advance health policy; to establish healthcare standards and to advocate for access to high-quality healthcare. AANP is the oldest, largest and only full-service national professional membership organization for NPs of all specialties, representing the interests of the 125,000 NPs practicing in the United States today.

Citizens of this country need to have all the facts so that they can make informed and intelligent decisions when choosing their healthcare provider. For more information, visit www.aanp.org. To locate an NP in your community, go to npfinder.com.


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SOURCE American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
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