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Nurse Practitioners
Search for a Nurse Practitioner at the Florida Department of Health, Medical Quality Assurance:
Nurse Practitioners have a reputation for personalized care
"The field of nurse practitioners was established in the 1960s to help provide medical services in rural communities, and to help hospitals and doctors expand patient services at a reduced cost", said Karen Grady, advanced practice consultant for the state Board of Nursing, in a recent newspaper article about Nurse Practitioners. "They are not doctors but can do many things a physician can," Grady said. "They can evaluate a patient, do exams, read diagnostic testing, do a diagnosis and treat the patient." That includes therapeutic procedures and prescribing medication within the scope of their specialty, she said. There are about 106,000 nurse practitioners nationally. In the last 10 years, the field has grown because they have a reputation for more personalized care.
Nurse practitioners entering field in
rising numbers
from the Boston Globe, 2004

Nurse practitioners, registered nurses who have master's degrees in nursing and are trained to perform many of the medical procedures doctors do, are coming into the field in rising numbers, according to the American College of Nurse Practitioners. The college reports the number of NPs nationwide has increased from 48,237 in 1992 to an estimated 115,000 in 2004.

Nurse practitioners typically work alongside doctors. Duties range from physical exams and prescribing medications to performing some invasive procedures, such as bone-marrow aspirations.

''There's a growing recognition of how effective nurse practitioners are as skilled clinicians," said Dr. Peter Slavin, the president of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. ''They are a very important part of our team of care givers."

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