A nurse practitioner, often called an “NP” for short, is an advanced practice registered nurse who has completed graduate level education such as a master’s or a doctoral degree. All NPs in California are registered nurses licensed by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) who have completed additional education and training, and have an expanded scope of practice over the traditional registered nurse role.
To become licensed to practice in California, NPs must complete an accredited NP program and be certified by the BRN. NPs specialize in many areas, including:
NP training programs were first developed over 50 years ago due to a shortage of physicians. State governments sought innovative ways to meet the growing demand for primary health care services. Out of that demand, the NP profession has grown to fill an important and vital role in America’s health care system. Working hand-in-hand with other licensed health care professionals, NPs improve the responsiveness and efficiency of our health care system. Because of their focus on primary care, disease prevention and counseling, NPs serve as exclusive providers of primary care for many families. There are more than 30,000 NPs in California and more than 290,000 practicing NPs nationwide. Nearly 20,000 new NPs are trained each year at over 350 colleges and universities.
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The California Association for Nurse Practitioners (CANP) provides a forum and unifying voice for more than 30,000 nurse practitioners statewide, often joining forces with other state and national organizations, to advance the profession and bridge health care needs. As the only association solely dedicated to advocating for nurse practitioners in California, we work to protect and expand the critical roles filled by NPs. As a conduit of information, we foster the dissemination of ideas, advice and standards of practice.
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