Nurse Practitioners have been working in this country for 20 years with rapidly increasing numbers, however it is only within recent years that they have begun to establish their identity as a professional body, about to be regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
So what is a Nurse Practitioner?
Nurse practitioners are highly experienced and educated members of the care team who are able to diagnose and treat healthcare needs or refer to an appropriate specialist if needed.
Nurse Practitioners can:
- Take a comprehensive patient history
- Carry out physical examinations
- Use their expert knowledge and clinical judgment to identify the potential diagnosis
- Refer patients for investigations where appropriate
- Make a final diagnosis
- Decide on and carry out treatment, including the prescribing of medicines, or refer patients to an appropriate specialist
- Use their extensive practice experience to plan and provide skilled and competent care to meet patient's health and social care needs, involving other members of the health care team as appropriate
- Ensure the provision of continuity of care including follow-up visits
- Assess and evaluate, with patients, the effectiveness of the treatment and care provided and make changes as needed
- Work independently, although often as part of a health care team
- Provide leadership
- Make sure that each patient's treatment and care is based on best practice
The NMC states that only nurses who have achieved the competencies set by the NMC for a registered NP are permitted to call themselves by this title.
|Mrs Benny Harston|
SRN SCM BSc (Hons) ANP, Nurse Prescriber, Dip in Asthma, Family Planning Certificate - Nurse Practitioner Manager.
Benny Harston has worked at the surgery since 1990, firstly as a practice nurse then later as a Nurse Practitioner and now team leader.
She has a keen interest in the professional issue relating to Nurse Practitioners and also teaches primary care nurses.