Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

Your partners in good health

FHN Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants are experts who provide primary care and some select specialty care to individuals of all ages and families across their entire life span.

As supportive members of your healthcare team, they assist you with decisions and necessary steps needed to maintain your health, as well as help you cope with an illness.

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses (RNs) who have continued their education and clinical training in a particular healthcare specialty area. Nurse practitioners have earned a graduate degree in advanced practice nursing.

Physician Assistants (PA-Cs) have received a broad education in primary care with a specific emphasis in the practice of medicine. Most PA-Cs have received their master’s degree in an intensive medical program generally lasting two to three years. After graduation, their education is ongoing through state continuing-education requirements and interaction with healthcare providers.

What can they do?

Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants
are part of a Medical Doctor’s team. They are trained and certified to:

  • Conduct physical exams
  • Treat patients’ illnesses and injuries
  • Develop and carry out treatment plans
  • Provide preventive healthcare counseling
  • Suture wounds
  • Order and interpret lab tests
  • Prescribe medications

When you are treated by a nurse practitioner
or physician assistant within FHN, you’re
being treated by a professional who is your partner in healthcare.

In addition, many Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants have special training that allows them to assist in surgery.

Credentials: What do they mean?

Nurse Practitioners take a special exam after training in their area of interest.

Common certifications include:

    FNP – Family Nurse Practitioner
    GNP – Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
    ANP – Adult Nurse Practitioner
    WHNP – Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
    AGACNP – Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

The BC stands for Board Certified.

Nurse Practitioners can go on to earn a doctorate degree in nursing – a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), the highest level of certification.

A certified Physician Assistant, or PA-C, has been certified by the American Academy of Physician Assistants.