What are nurse practitioners?
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have additional education and nursing experience. They are health-care professionals who treat the whole person: addressing needs relating to their physical and mental health, gathering their medical history, focusing on how their illness affects their lives and their family, and offering ways for people to lead a healthy life and teaching them how to manage chronic illness. Nurse practitioners are educators and researchers who can be consulted by other health-care team members.
Where do nurse practitioners work?
You will find nurse practitioners in a variety of health-care settings, such as:
What kind of health-care services do nurse practitioners provide?
Nurse practitioners provide direct care to people of all ages, families, groups and communities. They treat illnesses, order tests and prescribe medications. In addition, they teach individuals and their families about healthy living, preventing diseases and managing illnesses. In essence, nurse practitioners bring together the medical knowledge needed to diagnose and treat illnesses with the values and skills of nursing. Nurse practitioners are leaders, consultants and researchers, incorporating new knowledge into their practice. Nurse practitioners play a key role in community/organizational development and capacity-building, as well as health policy development.
Do nurse practitioners replace other health-care professionals? Will I still be able to see my doctor?
Nurse practitioners work together with — rather than replace — other health-care providers. They are part of a team and collaborate with registered nurses, doctors, social workers and others to provide care. You will still be able to see your family doctor and other health-care providers.