You are here

What is an Advanced Practice Provider?

By Paige Frey, APRN-CNP
Putnam County Primary Care, LLC

Have you seen your nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, received anesthesia from a nurse anesthetist or heard of clinical nurse specialists working to improve healthcare lately? If so, you are already familiar with advanced practice registered nurses, (APRNs) or advanced practice providers. We are becoming more and more prevalent in the healthcare industry and provide just as exceptional care as our fellow physicians. Our presence often makes health care more accessible to you. Often, we have worked bedside nursing for years, or even decades, before advancing our careers with masters, post-masters or even doctorate degrees.

We have unique collaborative relationships with physicians, outlined by the board of nursing, giving us access to discuss best care options, review complex patients and even share or alternate appointments with our patients to provide the highest quality of care. I personally have always highly valued my relationships with my collaborative physicians, looking to them as role models and mentors. This has ultimately shaped me into the type of primary care provider I am today.

As APRNs, we are regulated by the nursing board and physicians are regulated by the medical board. We are able to practice independently in many states with a collaborative agreement with a physician. We can evaluate, diagnose and treat patients very similarly to physicians and have the same passion for caring for our communities, as we want to provide exceptional care to our patients.

By Jennifer Stull, MD
EasternWoods Family Practice

Advanced practice providers are highly trained medical professionals who work in collaboration with a physician to provide quality care. They work under the supervision of a physician and are able to do many of the things a physician is able to do, such as providing counseling and education to patients, managing chronic conditions, prescribing medications and diagnosing and treating acute illness and injuries. The collaborative physician’s role is to provide specialty-specific training to the advanced practice provider, be available at all times to answer questions and review cases for ongoing quality evaluation. With the aging population and the current physician shortage, advanced practice providers are crucial in keeping up with the healthcare needs of the community.