Nurse Practitioner Week 2016

Nurse Practitioners (NP) are providers that are nurses with advanced education.


The first nurse practitioner program was established at the University of Colorado. There are currently more than 222,000 NPs in the US and 20,000 NPs join the ranks each year.

One of the focuses of National NP Week is to make patients, their families and also legislators aware of the care provided by NPs. Whether it is an Urgent Care, ICU, medical-surgical unit, primary care office, or specialty office, you will often find an NP caring for patients with a variety of needs and complaints. They work in the hospital, in outpatient clinics, nursing homes, prisons, schools and most places that provide health care.

The quality of NPs has been proven time and again via research:

Quality and Care Provided by Nurse Practitioners from the Journal of Nurse Practitioners:

"A high level of evidence also indicated that patient outcomes on satisfaction with care, health status, functional status, number of emergency department visits and hospitalizations, blood glucose, blood pressure, and mortality are similar for NPs and MDs."

9 Things to Know About Nurse Practitioners from US News and World Report:

"Nurse practitioners have very high patient satisfaction scores, and we have very good outcomes with our quality of care as well."

NPs provide advanced nursing care in the primary, specialty, inpatient and outpatient realms. NPs are now educated at the master's level and many today are pursuing a terminal degree, Doctorate of Nursing Practice.

There are many avenues to becoming an NP:

  • ADN to BSN to MSN
  • BSN to MSN
  • Direct Entry programs
  • BSN to DNP
  • Post-MSN certificates

And there are several tracks one can take to achieve this goal (certifications available from ANCC?

Nurse Practitioner Certifications

Other organizations offer certification exams as well.

NPs have to complete their education and obtain licensure as an APRN in order to practice. Here are some articles on how to pass the certification exam once your education is complete:

Passed AANP FNP Today:

"Today I passed my AANP FNP exam, two days after graduation. I used this website constantly to read tips and stories about people that both failed and passed, and can't be more thankful a forum like this exists."

Passed ANCC FNP:

"I took two days off per week from my job to study for boards. I signed up for the ANCC which was a relatively smooth and easy process. I blocked out a calendar to study for approximately 6 weeks. Each day, I reviewed a system/topic and did 50-100 practice questions."

And after you pass the certification exam, it's off to the job search. Here is an excellent thread about how to answer the difficult interview question of, "Where else are you interviewing?"

Nurse Practitioners have come a long way since their inception many years ago. However, they have a long way to go to gain independent practice in all 50 states. NPs in political office as well as all NPs need to be aware of legislation and how it affects their practice.

Happy Nurse Practitioner's Week!

164 Articles   21,189 Posts

Share this post