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You go to your doctor because you need to be treated for something, and instead of meeting with the doctor, you get an NP. But what is a nurse practitioner and why are they able to treat you just as your doctor would?

These professionals are on the doctor’s staff, but unlike a medical assistant or an RN, the NP has gone from being an RN to getting his or her master’s degree in a specialty of medicine. They go through advanced training and certifications, but they just didn’t go to medical school or have a residency. That is all that separates their role from a doctor.

What is great about a nurse practitioner and why it is not a bad thing that they may be examining you instead of the doctor, is that they can look at symptoms, take tests, make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment, but the cost for your care is not as much as it would otherwise be. The NP can take some of the workload off of the doctor, they can both spend more time with their patients, and the out-of-pocket costs to you are lower.

With the healthcare industry growing by leaps and bounds, there is a shortage of all levels of medical professionals, especially doctors. NPs are a great stop gap for making sure you have continued quality healthcare.