This week, November 12—18, 2017 is National Nurse Practitioner Week. Nurse practitioners work in hospitals and clinics all over the world providing exceptional care to patients of various health care needs.

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a clinician who blends clinical expertise in diagnosing and treating health conditions with an added emphasis on disease prevention and health management. They provide the same services as physicians; however, they can work freely without physician supervision in certain states, including Vermont.

How Do You Become a Nurse Practitioner?

Many NPs have lots of years of nursing experience. In order to become a Nurse Practitioner, a person must finish a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and pass a board certification test. In concert with a master’s degree, one must complete 500-700 clinical hours per specialty, depending on the program.

Many NPs start off working in primary care, acute care, and psychiatry. More often than not, NPs have additional education in a specialized area of medicine. NPs can get additional board certifications in a specialty area. In order to do this, they must obtain additional post-masters education and clinical hours. NPs work in all kinds of different fields and specialities of medicine.

Why UVM Nurse Practitioners Love Their Jobs

“One of my favorite parts of being an NP is educating patients. We approach the patient in a holistic, whole body manner. That’s part of our training. So, I help patients understand how to create a healthy life for themselves. It goes beyond their medical condition.” – Erin Donovan, APRN, Transplant

“When my youngest son was born, I had complications and I saw there was a big change in that relationship between doctors and nurses. The nurses were more independent and respected. I decided to go back and finish my bachelor’s degree and kept going [to become a Nurse Practitioner].” –Caroline Tassey, APRN, Transplant

The UVM Medical Center truly appreciates all the hard work and dedication that our Nurse Practitioners put into their jobs every day. We would like to thank them for this and celebrate them with National Nurse Practitioner Week.

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