Az NP Council White Paper
Created by Denise Link, PhD, NP, FAAN, FAANP on January 17, 2014.
Dedicated to the advancement of the practice and professional stature of Nurse Practitioners in Arizona through legislative impact, education, community outreach, and involvement
The Arizona Nurse Practitioner Council is a local chapter of the Arizona Nurses Association/American Nurses Association, and an affiliate of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Established in 1992, the activities of the chapter focus on advocacy for patients and our profession through public policy and educational activities. We provide members with opportunities to network with one another and to promote their services to the public.
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) have been providing primary, acute and specialty healthcare to patients of all ages and walks of life since 1965 when the first NP program was developed by a nurse and a physician at the University of Colorado. NPs engage with patients in health promotion and risk identification and reduction, assess health status, order and interpret diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, and initiate and manage treatment plans in collaboration with patients. Nurse practitioners have full prescriptive authority in Arizona including controlled substances and are eligible for DEA certification.
All NPs must complete a master's or doctoral degree program, and have advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse preparation. Didactic and clinical courses prepare nurses with specialized knowledge and clinical competency to practice in primary care, acute care and long-term health care settings. To be recognized as expert health care providers and ensure the highest quality of care, NPs undergo rigorous national certification, periodic peer review, clinical outcome evaluations, and adhere to a code for ethical practices. Self-directed continued learning and professional development are also essential to maintaining clinical competency.
Additionally, to promote quality health care and improve clinical outcomes, NPs lead and participate in both professional and lay health care forums, conduct research and apply the best evidence to their clinical practice.
NPs are licensed in all states and the District of Columbia, and practice under the rules and regulations of the state in which they are licensed. They provide high-quality care in rural, urban and suburban communities, in many types of settings including clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care sites, private physician or NP practices, nursing homes, schools, colleges, and public health departments. It has been estimated that Americans make almost 600 million visits to NPs every year.