Last month I shared how much I love my profession and recognition. Well, I would be completely remiss if I did not share my love and recognition for another medical profession that staffs Target Clinic in Minnesota– Nurse Practitioners (NP). And since National Nurse Practitioner Week is celebrated this month I thought this would be perfect timing. I asked one of our fabulous NPs, Kristen, to share more about the profession and what she enjoys about working at Target Clinic.
Lexie: What is a Nurse Practitioner?
Kristen: A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has expanded his or her education and passed a national certification exam. Some nurse practitioners are known as “Advanced Practice Registered Nurses”. As an NP, I am trained to diagnose and treat most medical conditions. I can also write prescriptions for medications and order lab tests and x-rays. I have also been trained to preform minor office procedures such as: casting, suturing, and mole/wart/skin tag removal- just to name a few. Though, I don’t do all of these things at Target Clinic, they are all within the scope of my training.
L: Last month I talked about PA education and training. How does this differ from a NP’s?
K: There are a number of differences ranging from the clinician’s background to practice guidelines. Nurse practitioners are required to have a bachelor’s degree as a registered nurse and to practice as a registered nurse for at least 1000 hours prior to beginning an NP program. Nurse Practitioner programs can be either a masters or doctoral program and generally take 3-4 years to complete. After completion of a NP program, NPs must pass a national certification exam in order to become certified. In order to maintain that status a NP must practice at least 1000 hours and maintain a specified number of continuing education credits every five years.
L: So with NPs able to work in a variety of settings, what brought you to Target Clinic?
K: Prior to coming to Target, I worked as a registered nurse for seven years. My cohorts frequently ask me why I work for Target Clinics; the answer is simple- I LOVE my job! As an NP I am driven by the ability to help patients meet their healthcare needs through innovative, quality and convenient service which Target Clinic offers all of their guests. I have also always been very passionate about development, leadership, and leading amazing teams to be successful. These are all opportunities that I have been presented while working for Target Clinics. Additionally, I am fortunate to work with amazing leaders who are invested in my future and who support my personal development every step of the way.
L: Anything else you’d like to share?
K: I am proud to be one of more than 171,000 certified nurse practitioners in the US. I truly have a sincere appreciation and passion for the profession, which is why I am an NP. As National Nurse Practitioner Week was November 10-16, I would like to recognize all of the fabulous nurse practitioners that I work with at Target Clinics for all of their hard work, dedication and professionalism. The patients that we serve deserve the best and that’s exactly what they get when they are seen at Target Clinic!
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