A Consumer’s Guide to Advanced Practice
Registered Nurses (APRN)

Published June 2001

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes)

What are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse Practitioners are registered nurses who have additional education and licensure to manage common health problems and chronic conditions including prescribing treatments and medications. They are frequently called an APRN-NP or NP for short.

Top of Page

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes)

What is their education?

 
Most NP’s have a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. The educational program for nurse practitioners is based on the nursing model of providing care, which is a holistic model focusing on health prevention and maintenance as well as diagnosis and treatment of illness. NP’s must pass a national certification examination.

Education and certification are available in specialty areas of practice such as Women’s Health/ OB-GYN, Neonatal, Pediatrics, Adult, Family, Gerontology, Acute Care and Psychiatric. Nebraska has three colleges offering advanced practice nursing education, all at the master’s level: University of Nebraska Medical Center, Clarkson College and and Creighton University.

In Nebraska, nurse practitioners are required to have both a current RN license and an APRN-NP license.

Top of Page

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes)

What do Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Nurse Practitioners do?

NP’s provide health care in specialty/defined areas, which can include but is not limited to:

  • Performing physical exams and taking health histories;
  • Assessing and evaluating common symptoms of acute illnesses such as colds, infections and asthma;
  • Ordering, conducting, and interpreting appropriate diagnostic and laboratory tests;
  • Prescribing and managing medications for common or chronic conditions;
  • Managing chronic health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression-
    Developing care plans;
  • Educating and counseling patients and families;
  • Health screening, illness prevention, and wellness promotion such as blood pressure screening, nutrition counseling, immunization and smoking cessation programs;
  • Coordinating health care services;
  • Evaluating quality of care by reviewing the outcomes of care;
  • Providing prenatal care, family planning, and management of normal pregnancies;
  • Identifying health needs that require referral for more specialized care; and
  • Collaborating with other health care professionals.

Top of Page 

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes)

Where do Advanced Practice Registered Nurses Practice-Nurse Practitioner?

NP’s work in a variety of settings including clinics, nursing homes, hospitals and emergency rooms or their own offices.

Top of Page 

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes)

Is it Ok to see an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse-Nurse Practitioners instead of a physician?

The NP is educated and licensed to be able to diagnose, treat, and manage common health problems and chronic conditions within their specialty area. NP’s consult with physicians when appropriate and will refer you to a physician or other health care provider as your condition warrants. Research has shown that 80% of the reasons most persons seek medical attention can be managed effectively by an NP.

Top of Page 

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes) 

Will my insurance pay for the services of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse-Nurse Practitioners?

Services of the NP are billed and reimbursed in the same manner as the physician.

Top of Page 

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes) 

How can I receive services from an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse-Nurse Practitioner?

  • Contact your physician’s office and inquire if there is an APRN on staff.
  • If you belong to an HMO or PPO, check the list of approved providers for those with APRN’s on staff.
  • Consult your telephone directory for APRN’s in your area.

Top of Page 

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes) 

How many licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses are there in Nebraska?

Currently there are more than 700 licensed NP’s in Nebraska.

Top of Page 

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes) 

What is the Advanced Practice Registered Nurses Board?

Nine appointed individuals who volunteer their time to provide expert advice to Nebraska government on the licensing all of APRN’s in the interest of consumer protection. This includes Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Nurse Practitioners (APRN-NP), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Certified Nurse Anesthetists (APRN-CRNA), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Certified Nurse Midwives (APRN-CNM), and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Clinical Specialists (APRN-CS)

Top of Page 

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes) 

Who are members of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Board?

Two consumers, four APRN's (one APRN-NP, one APRN-CRNA, one APRN-CNM and one APRN-CNS) and three physicians.

Top of Page 

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes) 

How to determine if someone is licensed as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse?

License information may be found at www.dhhs.ne.gov/lis/lisindex.htm on the Internet. Information will include the date the license was issued and any disciplinary history.

Top of Page 

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes) 

What is a Violation of the NP Laws?

Grounds for discipline against an NP license include:

  • Behaviors influenced by drug/alcohol;
  • Sexual misconduct;
  • Abuse, including verbal, physical or mental;
  • Negligent or incompetent care;
  • Theft of property;
  • Misrepresentation;
  • Lack of confidentiality;
  • Abandonment; and
  • Failure to seek consultation and collaboration or to refer a patient when warranted by patient condition.

If a consumer believes harm has been done, or is dissatisfied with the NP service provided, or is questioning the behavior of the nurse for any reason, call the Board of APRN Board at (402) 471-4376.

Top of Page 

bar7[1].gif (1399 bytes)

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Page 

Licensure Unit Page