Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses (RNs) who have continued their education and clinical training in a particular healthcare specialty area. Nurse practitioners have earned a graduate degree in advanced practice nursing.

Professional nurse practitioners are trained to deliver primary healthcare to people of all ages, including newborns. They provide such services in a high-quality, cost-effective manner, listening to their patients' concerns and answering their questions.

FHN nurse practitioners are certified to diagnose and manage acute illnesses and injuries, plus stabilize long-term chronic illnesses in collaboration with other members of the healthcare team. They assess health status by taking health histories and performing physical examinations. When needed, they prescribe medications, order and interpret laboratory tests, x-rays and developmental and screening tests to identify their patients' health problems, risk factors and strengths.

An integral part of a nurse practitioners' practice is emphasizing health education and providing health counseling. A nurse practitioner believes in a patient's right to know what is happening to him or her, all the while informing them of their choices when treatment is necessary.

When you are treated by a nurse practitioner within FHN, you're being treated by a professional who is your partner in healthcare.

Credentialing – what does it mean?

A nurse practitioner takes a special exam after training in his or her area of interest. BC stands for Board Certified, followed by the nurse practitioner's area of certification. Common certifications include:

  • BC-FNP – board-certified family nurse practitioner
  • BC-GNP – board-certified geriatric nurse practitioner
  • BC-ANP – board-certified adult nurse practitioner
  • BC-CNM – board-certified nurse midwife
  • BC-NPWH – board-certified nurse practitioner for women's health

Nurse practitioners can go on to earn a doctorate degree in nursing – a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), the highest level of certification.

> Download FHN Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants brochure

Read about nurse practitioners at MedLine Plus.