Monday Medical: Nurse practitioners — meeting the needs of patients
January 22, 2017
At a glance
• About 220,000 in the country
• Must first be a registered nurse, then complete graduate nursing education and national board certification
• Must recertify every two to five years
• Can treat patients, prescribe medications, order and interpret tests and more
• Visits are covered by insurance
Don't be surprised if your next visit to the doctor's office or the hospital involves care provided by a nurse practitioner.
Nurse practitioners are a critical part of the health care team, providing many of the same services as doctors. In Colorado, that includes conducting well visits, seeing sick patients, ordering labs and diagnostics, interpreting results and more.