What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with a graduate degree in nursing, who is prepared for advanced practice in health care across the health continuum. This practice includes independent and interdependent decision-making and direct accountability for clinical judgment.

I. Statement of functions for Nurse Practitioners
   * Elicit a comprehensive health history, including development, maturation, coping ability, activities of daily living, physiological function and emotional and social well-being.
   * Perform a complete physical examination.
   * Order and/or perform pertinent diagnostic tests.
   * Analyze the data collected to determine health status.
   * Formulate a problem list.
   * Develop and implement, with the client, a plan of care to promote, maintain and restore health.
   * Evaluate the client's response to the health care provider and the effectiveness of the care given to the individual.
   * Modify the plan and intervention as needed.
   * Collaborate with other health care professionals in meeting client's health care needs.
   * Refer the client to other health care professionals and agencies as appropriate.
   * Record all pertinent data about the client including the history and physical 
examination, problems identified, interventions provided, results of care and plans for follow-up or referral.
   * Coordinate the services required to meet client needs for health care.

II. Educational Preparation
   * A Master's Degree in Nursing and completion of a graduate-level program for nurse practitioners are required for certification
   * Successfully complete an advanced pharmacology class/program.
   * Graduate preparation expanding the comprehensives of the nurse practitioner's role to include participation in use of research, development and implementation of health policy, leadership, education, case management and consultation.

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