The Odessa Record -

Nurse practitioner week


November 16, 2017

Rich Ervin, FNP-C

This is National Nurse Practitioner Week, and we at Odessa Memorial Healthcare Center are so thankful to our excellent nurse practitioners Rich Ervin, FNP-C and Debbie Fogg, FNP-C. Nurse practitioners, also known as NPs, are expert clinicians with advanced training who provide primary, acute and specialty health care. NPs offer high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care. NPs are proven, expert, patient-centered clinicians, and they are the health care providers of choice for many people because of their unique combination of medical and nursing expertise and skills. NPs diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries; they order, perform, interpret and supervise diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays and they prescribe medications and other treatments. In addition, NPs partner with their patients, providing health education and counseling, thus guiding patients to make smarter health and lifestyle choices, which ultimately may lead to reduced health care costs.

In 22 states and the District of Columbia, full practice authority has been granted to NPs, giving patients more direct access to the primary, acute and specialty care services that NPs provide. NPs provide a full range of services, such as ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic tests; diagnosing and treating acute and chronic conditions; prescribing medications and treatments and managing overall patient care. There are more than 234,000 NPs licensed to practice in America today, providing solutions to the health care provider crisis. NPs have master's degrees, and many have doctoral degrees, as well as advanced education and clinical training. NPs are licensed and can prescribe medication and other treatments in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Debbie Fogg, FNP-C

Patients whose primary care providers are NPs have fewer emergency room visits and shorter hospital stays, resulting in lower out of pocket costs. Two out of three patients support legislation for greater access to NP services. An estimated 23,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2015-2016. NPs emphasize the health and well-being of the whole person in their approach, including helping patients make educated health care decisions and healthy lifestyle choices. The confidence patients have in NPs is demonstrated by the more than 1.02 billion visits made to NPs each year.

November 12-18 is National Nurse Practitioner Week. NPs partner with their patient, assisting them in making better lifestyle and health care decisions. NPs are different from other health care providers. They focus on the whole person when treating specific health problems, and they educate their patients on the effects those problems will have on them, their loved ones and their communities. If you're already seeing a nurse practitioner, please take a moment this week to say thanks. If you are not already seeing an NP, visit the Odessa Rural Health Clinic to get an appointment with one of our experienced nurse practitioners.


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