Nurse practitioners' advanced education and training allow them to diagnose, treat and prescribe, but they are nurses first, AANP board member and nurse practitioner Susan Apold says as a guest of the "Washington Journal" call-in program. "As registered nurses, we're taught to take care of the whole patient," she says. NPs don't want to replace doctors but do want to practice to the full extent of their license, and they are a "precious, precious resource that patients need."

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