A certified nurse practitioner (CNP) is a medical professional licensed by the state to practice autonomously who focuses on managing people’s health conditions and preventing disease. Nurse practitioner is one of four types of post-graduate degrees that nurses can pursue: the others are certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), certified nurse-midwife (CNM), and clinical nurse specialist (CNS). The licensing title for a nurse who has obtained a post-graduate degree is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, or APRN.
All APRNs are educationally prepared to provide a scope of services across the health wellness-illness continuum to at least one population focus as defined by nationally recognized role and population-focused competencies. They perform comprehensive and focused physical examinations; diagnose and treat common acute illnesses and injuries; provide immunizations; manage high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and other chronic health problems; order and interpret diagnostic tests such as X-rays and EKGs, as well as laboratory tests; perform procedures; and educate and counsel patients and their families regarding healthy lifestyles and health care options. In Oklahoma, nurse practitioners can prescribe most medications and therapies (with some limitations.)
Our clinic is run by Michelle R. Stephens, who is a CNP. The “family” designation means that her master’s degree focused on providing care to pediatric, adolescent, adult and elderly patients along with women’s health care.