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A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced academic and clinical experience which enables him or her or diagnose and manage most common and many chronic illnesses either independently or as a part of a health care team A nurse practitioner provides some care previously offered only by physicians and in most states has the ability to prescribe medications working in collaboration with a physician a nurse practitioner provides high-quality cost-effective and individualized care for the life span of patients special needs Nurse practitioners focus largely on health maintenance disease prevention counseling and patient education in a wide variety of settings With a strong emphasis on primary care nurse practitioners are employed within several specialties including neonatology nurse mid-wifery pediactrics school health family and adult health womens health mental health home care gereatrics and acute care Nurse practitioners are educated through programs that grant either a certificate or a masters degree A registered nurse is recommended to have extensive clinical experience before applying to a nurse practitioner program An intensive preceptorship under the direct supervision of a physician or an experienced nurse practitioner as well as instruction in nursing theory are key components to most nurse practitioner programs Nurse Practitioners have held a respectively beneficial partnership with their patients for over thirty years Excellence in academic education and clinical training will enable Nurse Practitioners to continue to provide quality health care into the next millennium Continuation of this excellent history of care during a proliferation of NP Education programs will be achieved through the consistent use of established program standards for NP education Any decline in academic standards weakens the level of care provided by the NP profession and is counterproductive to the goals of the profession the American College of Nurse Practitioners ACNP and the goals of individual NPs ACNP will continue to provide a leadership role that supports high quality NP education and advocates for quality cost effective care for all clients
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