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Busting the Myths About Nurse Practitioners

If you’ve ever gone to see your doctor and instead received care from the nurse practitioner (or NP, for short), you may have felt concerned. You may even have asked yourself: “Am I receiving the same level of care?”

The good news is that you need not worry. The nurse practitioners working in your doctor’s office have advanced education, certification, and skills, and they are licensed to practice independently, diagnose patients, prescribe treatments and medications—all similar to physicians.

Here are five more things you might not know about NPs:

  1. They’re nationally certified and licensed in the state they practice in.
  2. They have an advanced degree that they obtain after they’ve been a registered nurse—either a master’s or doctorate degree.
  3. They can specialize—Beebe NPs work in a variety of specialty areas, including primary care, pediatrics, geriatrics, and women’s health.
  4. Patients working with NPs often have fewer unnecessary emergency room visits because the wait to see a NP tends to be shorter.
  5. Studies have shown that patient satisfaction scores often list NPs above other healthcare providers.