Nurse Practitioners : Nursing Practitioners

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Nurse practitioners (NPs), or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), play an essential role in the growing complexity of the healthcare system. Established in the early 1960s, nurse practitioners have served as skilled clinicians, meeting the healthcare needs of patients as the availability of primary care physicians continued to decrease. Much like a Primary Care Physician, Nurse Practitioners can serve as a primary health care providers or specialize in particular areas of health care like family medicine. Many Nurse Practitioners, for instance Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP), work in collaboration with physicians in hospitals or outpatient facilities, while others work autonomously in private practices. With their graduate-level education and clinical training, family nurse practitioners can diagnose illnesses, conduct exams, treat complex health conditions, and prescribe medications. Family nurse practitioners place a strong emphasis on wellness and prevention, but also provide treatment for everything from mild ailments to serious conditions affecting any member across the age span. One FNP, in which the author has had the pleasure to work beside with, is an exceptional staff nurse, clinical instructor, and mentor. As a FNP in Emergency Department Observation Unit (EDOU) and Short Stay Unit (SSU) of MGH, Sheila Young is responsible for the treating emergency department patients with a variety of health issues. This paper will examine Shelia’s role and practice
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