According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2019), over 1.06 billion Americans per year choose a nurse practitioner (NP) to provide their health care services (www.aanp.org/about/all-about-nps). With expertise in and emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention, NPs work hard to keep our community members safe and healthy through direct care, health education, counseling, and health screening. NPs focus on collaborative care working with physicians, dentists, therapists, dieticians, and other healthcare providers to ensure their patients receive the right care at the right time.
NPs are registered nurses (RNs) with advanced academic preparation and clinical training who complete a master’s or doctoral degree program. NPs provide high quality, cost-effective healthcare in a variety of primary care, acute care, and long-term care settings and are nationally board-certified in specialties such as family practice, adult-gerontology, pediatrics, neonatal, psychiatric/mental health, and women’s health.
NPs are licensed/certified within each state to provide comprehensive health care services. Although legal authority varies from state to state in terms of physician involvement, NPs diagnose and manage acute and chronic health conditions, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and perform minor office-based surgical and diagnostic procedures. Additionally, NPs prescribe pharmaceuticals and devices, durable medical equipment, and rehabilitative services such as physical and occupational therapies, refer to other healthcare providers when appropriate, and most importantly provide health promotion and disease prevention interventions through education, screening, and counseling.
The UC Irvine Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing (SON) launched an NP Faculty Practice in 2011 through a grant provided by the Health Resources & Services Administration within the US Department of Health Care Services. Initially, the faculty practice provided healthcare services in partnership with an external local community clini and an Orange County Charter School in Santa Ana, CA. Over time, the faculty practice grew, expanding NP faculty services into the UC Irvine Family Health Centers in Santa Ana (FHC SA) and Anaheim (FHC Anaheim) and UC Irvine Health’s Gottschalk Medical Plaza in collaboration with the Department of Family Medicine within the UC Irvine School of Medicine. Recently, the faculty practice further expanded to the UC Irvine Student Health Center, in collaboration with their staff physician care team.
Led by Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs, Dr. Susanne Phillips, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, the faculty practice consists of eight UC Irvine-credentialed and privileged family practice nurse practitioners who provide primary care across the lifespan, same-day/walk-in care, and preventive health services in collaboration with UC Irvine physicians and staff. Last year, SON faculty provided primary care to nearly 10,000 patients across the UC Irvine healthcare system. However, the charge of the SON faculty practice is not limited solely to patient care. The faculty practice serves to provide and supervise clinical education to undergraduate and graduate students in the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing.