Meet Our Team
To learn more about a member of our mental wellness team, please choose a photo below.
What is a nurse practitioner?
A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse with advanced graduate education and training. NPs can assess, diagnose, and prescribe treatment for a variety of illnesses. At Lee Side Wellness, we focus on the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders.
NPs are required to have obtained at least a master’s degree in nursing in his or her chosen specialty and pass a national certifying examination. According to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, there are over 234,000 NPs across the country, and Americans make over 870 million visits to nurse practitioners every year.
What is the difference between a nurse practitioner and a physician?
At Lee Side Wellness, we believe in the unique contributions of all members of the healthcare team. While physicians are trained through graduate medical school and a residency in their specialty, nurse practitioners have similar, but uniquely different training and experience. All nurse practitioners have completed basic nursing school, a rigorous process that can range from 18 months to 3 years. Most then practice as a nurse for a period of time before beginning graduate school. A master’s degree in nursing can take two to three years and includes highly specialized didactic training and extensive clinical practicum hours. In short, while we believe that physicians can provide excellent service, nurse practitioners pride themselves on caring for the bio-psycho-social aspects of a person – in other words, total wellness and recovery.
Doesn't a physician need to supervise a nurse practitioner?
Nurse practitioners have come a long way in establishing their roles as providers of medical care. For many years, nurse practitioners were not allowed to see patients without a physician closely supervising. They often could not prescribe medications, or were highly limited on what medications they could prescribe. Now, at least 23 states have allowed for nurse practitioners to practice independently, without any association with a physician. In Ohio, all nurse practitioners must have a collaborating agreement with a physician, which formally establishes the professional relationship between these two colleagues. There are still some medications and treatments that nurse practitioners cannot prescribe or perform, but these limitations are not typically relevant in outpatient offices.
Why do some nurse practitioners call themselves "Doctor"?
Many nurse practitioners choose to advance their education even further and earn the highest graduate degree available in the field of nursing. Nurse practitioners can obtain a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). These programs are rigorous, often extending education for another 3-5 years. While no nurse practitioner intends to confuse or misrepresent themselves, the title “Doctor” simply indicates the hard work these NPs have completed. In addition to physicians, many other medical providers can earn doctoral degrees, such as psychologists, dentists, podiatrists, and many pharmacists, and often rightfully refer to themselves as “Doctor.”