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What Nurse Practitioners Can Do

The Nurse Practitioner (NP) role has existed for over 50 years.  The AANP identifies NPs as licensed independent practitioners who practice in ambulatory, acute, and long-term care as primary and/or specialty care providers and who provide nursing and medical services to individuals, families, and groups according to their practice specialty. The AANP identifies that in addition to diagnosing and managing acute episodic and chronic illnesses, NPs emphasize health promotion and disease prevention. NP services are outlined to include, but not limited to, ordering, conducting, supervising, and interpreting diagnostic and laboratory tests, and prescribing of pharmacologic agents and nonpharmacologic therapies. Teaching and counseling individuals, families, and groups are also identified as major parts of NP practice. Nurse Practitioners play an increasingly central role in the provision of health services in the United States (U.S.). Given the unmet health care needs and the pressure to contain costs, NPs provide the nation with an opportunity to expand access to high-quality, cost-effective care (AANP 2018).