Fasting No Longer Necessary for Cholesterol Testing?

Until now, nurse practitioners have been taught that patients must fast before cholesterol testing to obtain accurate results.  New research debunks this teaching showing fasting before cholesterol testing may not be as important as once thought- great news for patients who come to your clinic disgruntled and famished as a result of skipping breakfast.

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5 Festive Additions NP's Can Make to the Workplace Wardrobe

The Holiday Season is here!  Just when you want to wind down and curl up by the fire with a large cup of cocoa (add marshmallows please), things at your clinic or hospital are picking up.  Influenza, gastroenteritis and RSV are flying into your community along with Santa's sleigh leaving little time to take in the Spirit of the Season for nurse practitioners this month.  What tweaks can you make to your work wardrobe to bring a little extra Holiday cheer to your clinic or hospital?

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What's the Employment Outlook for Nurse Practitioners?

By: Kaitlin Olson, HEALTHeCAREERS.com

The outlook has never been better for nurse practitioners!  Healthcare employment is projected to outpace every other economic section through 2020- and nurse practitioners play a large part.  With over 155,000 practicing nurse practitioners in the workforce today, there continues to be a need for NP's to fill the gap

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Obamacare Drives Doctors to Retirement; What About NP's?

Now that the presidential election is over, it's official that Obamacare is here.  Whatever your views on this legislation, as a member of the health care community the Affordable Care Act will affect you.  It seems that physicians are largely against these new rules and regulations and many of them say Obamacare will drive them to leave their practices.  What about nurse practitioners?

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Could Metformin Be Key to Fighting Ovarian Cancer?

Researchers have suspected metformin to hold anti-cancer properties for years.  They noticed that cancer patients taking the commonly prescribed diabetes drug live longer than their counterparts.  Most nurse practitioners have probably written hundreds of prescriptions for metformin throughout their careers unaware of it's cancer-fighting properties. 

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Sorry, Sometimes There's No Quick Fix

I can't fix everything.  Shocking, I know.  Lately though, I have become a bit annoyed by patient's demands for a quick fix.  It seems that people want a magic pill for everything- and f

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Holiday Season Brings Cheer...and Chest Pain

Despite the unnaturally warm, sunny weather we are experiencing today in Tennessee, the Holiday season has arrived.  It is officially December so bring on the hot cocoa, christmas lights and peppermint laced delicacies. For most of us, the Holiday season brings a sense of coziness, comfort and community to our homes.  But for others December presents the culmination of chronic health issues.  On December 25th, the number of deaths from heart attack is higher than any other day of the year.

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Learning to Have Difficult Conversations With Your Patients

The other day at work I informed an elderly patient and her family that unfortunately she had a large brain mass.  At her age, treatment was not likely an option.  The conversation was expectedly intense.

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Case Study of the Week: Diverticulitis

Working in the ER, I treat a lot of abdominal pain.  It seems our population lives in fear of contracting an appendicitis and seeks emergency treatment for every twitch and pang in their tummy.  Given the large number of abdominal pain related complaints I encounter on a daily basis, I have become rather adept at sorting the serious from the benign and diagnosing them appropriately.  Among my favorite diagnoses is diverticulitis. 

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Best Pocket Guides for Nurse Practitioners

Every NP needs a little help from time to time.  Have a patient with multiple antibiotic allergies and can't recall which medication is third line treatment for strep?  Maybe you know an ECG looks a little off but are uncertain of the significance of the changes you detect.  Thankfully, there are many quick and easy pocket guides you can keep within easy reach for help in these situations.

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Melatonin: An Effective Sleep Aid?

We all have those nights.  The clock is ticking away, an early morning commitment is pressing, workday stressors are running through your mind and you just can't fall asleep.  Sure, you could take a Benadryl or prescription sleep aid if you have one handy but they often leave you feeling groggy and sluggish long past your allotted time to get some zzzz's.  Or, maybe you just don't like to take medications.  Is melatonin, a natural sleep aid effective for relief of insomnia?

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NP Students: How Do You Find a Clinical Preceptor?

Oh, the dreaded nursing school clinical hours.  Former nurse practitioner students have warned you of the time commitment and frustration they may present.  What you may not know is that some nurse practitioner programs will not find physicians or other nurse practitioners to precept you in order to complete your clinical hours.  In many nurse practitioner programs, you will be required to secure your own clinical placement and preceptor to train you.

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