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Berlin, Md. – The role of the nurse practitioner (NP) will be showcased November 13 - 19, 2016, as NPs across the country celebrate more than 50 years of practice during National NP Week.

In the United States, this distinguished group of health care professionals number approximately 222,000 strong with an additional 20,000 NP students graduating each year. NPs are independent providers of high-quality, cost-effective, personalized health care. NP practice offers a unique combination of nursing and health care service to patients. Focusing not only on diagnosing and managing acute and chronic illnesses, NPs are trained to integrate health promotion, disease prevention, counseling and patient education to help patients understand their complete health picture.

In a population that is aging, with baby boomers becoming seniors in growing numbers over the next ten years, having choices about health care providers will become even more important. The federal government estimates that by 2020 there will be a 30 percent increase in primary care NPs, which, if successfully integrated into primary care practices, should drastically help with the expected shortfall of roughly 20,000 primary care physicians in the same year. According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, it is estimated that NPs can provide 80-90 percent of care that primary care physicians do, allowing them to be an asset to a primary care office setting and alleviate some of the load for a physician that may have no room for new patients.

National NP Week brings visibility to the role of the NP, helping consumers make wise choices when selecting their health care provider. “We are very honored to have some of the area’s most skilled NPs, providing quality care and personalized service to our community members and visitors. This week is an added opportunity for us to recognize our NPs and their value to Atlantic General Hospital and Health System and the health of the community,” said Michael Franklin, FACHE, President and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital.

To locate a NP provider in your community, go to