Lake Regional has family nurse practitioners, acute care nurse practitioners and nurse practitioners dedicated to neurology, occupational medicine, oncology, pulmonology, sleep medicine and women's health.

Lake Regional Health System is celebrating National Nurse Practitioner Week, Nov. 12–18.

“Our nurse practitioners provide high-quality, personalized health care,” said Michael Burcham, vice president, Physician Practices. “Their training prepares them not only to diagnose and manage acute and chronic illnesses but also to partner with patients to prevent disease and promote health. We are grateful to have these skilled, knowledgeable professionals serving patients throughout our health system.”

Nurse practitioners are licensed clinicians with advanced educations and extensive clinical preparation. They provide primary care, acute care and specialty health care services. Most nurse practitioners have at least a master’s degree and many have a doctorate degree.

Each state sets its own laws regarding the scope of practice and authority allowed for nurse practitioners. In Missouri, nurse practitioners are required to establish a collaborative agreement with a physician in order to practice. With that agreement, a nurse practitioner can provide nearly all of the same care a doctor can provide, from diagnosing and treating health problems to prescribing medications and ordering tests.

Nurse practitioners may focus on different areas. Lake Regional has family nurse practitioners, acute care nurse practitioners and nurse practitioners dedicated to neurology, occupational medicine, oncology, pulmonology, sleep medicine and women’s health.

Nurse practitioners have been a part of health care for more than 50 years. This distinguished group of health care professionals number approximately 234,000 nationwide, with an additional 23,000 nurse practitioners graduating every year.