Why see a nurse practitioner?
As an NP I often hear my patients complaints. They tell their providers that they feel too tired or they do not sleep well or they cannot lose weight. The answer they get in return is that their labs are fine and to try to eat better and exercise. For many patients this answer is not enough and they often leave the visit more frustrated and overwhelmed. As an NP this is where I love to meet you! I have a different answer. It will take work and commitment from you, but together we can help you achieve a better quality life.
Nurse Practitioner’s receive all the training to provide traditional healthcare but have also learned that the prevention of disease is key. Nurse Practitioner’s are advanced practice registered nurses. After obtaining a 4 year degree in nursing, nurses can go on to graduate school and earn advanced degrees in 2-4 additional years of study. They then graduate with a Master’s of Science or a doctorate. Once a nurse has graduated from graduate school in nursing they then sit for a board exam in their area of specialty. This may include family health, acute care,internal medicine, women’s health or OB/gyn,etc. This also includes nurse midwives and nurse anesthetist’s. Once they are board Certified they are then eligible to take the DEA exam to then be able to prescribe medication. They are then also able to practice as a healthcare provider.
Nurse Practitioner practice rights vary widely state to state with some states such as Iowa allowing complete independent practice as a healthcare provider, while other states require some collaboration with a physician and a few states require supervision by a physician. In Wisconsin an NP can practice independently as long as there is a written collaborative agreement with a physician. This means that if the nurse practitioner has a question about a case or is seeking a consult on a case that that physician would be the person they discuss the case with. Sometimes a patients needs are such that a referral to a physician or other health care provider is more appropriate and then the NP will refer the patient on and help them find the care they need. Such an example might include the need for surgery, a specialty provider such as a neurological referral or a mental health referral.
Nurse Practitioners use diet and lifestyle changes and natural remedies along with conventional medicine to improve health. NPs often take more time with their patients educating them and pointing out areas where their health could improve.