Nurse practitioners (NPs) are the largest subgroup of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who provide care to male and female patients throughout life- from premature newborns to the elderly. NPs are registered nurses with additional education, often including a master's degree. Many NPs provide specialty care in areas such as oncology and womens health. In fact, NPs are essential providers of sexual and reproductive health services in the United States. If you or your child has a condition (or treatment) which affects fertility or as been diagnosed with cancer, your NP may be a good person to ask about future fertility and fertility preservation options.
Start the fertility preservation converstaion with these 5 questions:
- How does my medical condition, disease, or cancer diagnosis affect my health right now?
- How quickly do I need to start treatment?
- Will my diagnosis or treatment affect my fertility?
- What fertility preservation options are available?
- Can I have a child in the future?
Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (PNPs) are health care providers with a passion for children's health. They have advanced education in pediatric nursing and provide care to infants, children, and adolescents in many practice settings, often along side pediatricians. PNPs may help manage your child's disease symptoms and treatment.
PNPs offer a variety of health care services, such as:
- Well child examinations
- Routine developmental screenings
- Diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses
- Provide anticipatory guidance regarding common child health concerns
- Provide childhood immunizations
- Perform school physicals
- Prescribe medications
Family Nurse Practitioners
Family Nurse Practitioners are primary health care providers to families. Family NPs follow their patients throughout life, utilizing obstetric, pediatric, gynecologic, as well as adult and geriatric primary care diagnostic and management skills. Some of the services your Family NP may provide, include:
- Well examinations and physical assessments
- Diagnose and treat common medical conditions
- Create diagnostic, therapeutic, and educational care plans unique to each patient
- Referral to specialty health care providers when necessary
- Coordinate overall health care
- Prescribe medications
Pediatric and Adult Oncology Nurse Practitioners
Oncology NPs take on a leadership role when it comes to adult and pediatric cancer care. Your (or your child's) NP can:
- Perform cancer risk assessments for diverse populations including the general population, high risk individuals and cancer survivors
- Diagnose and manage common cancers
- Perform assessments of patients with cancer that include an evaluation of manifestations and toxicities related to cancer and its treatment
- Use evidence based practice guidelines to guide prevention strategies, screening activities and health promotion
- Assist patients and families in coping with the illness and its potential or expected outcomes, including the harmful effects cancer can have on fertility
- Coordinate palliative and end of life care in collaboration with patients, families, caregivers and members of the multi disciplinary healthcare team
- Assess actual or potential late effects of cancer and its treatment including secondary cancers, cardiomyopathy, pulmonary dysfunction, etc. in cancer survivors
Women's Health Nurse Practitioners
Women's Health NPs focus on the care and treatment of women; they can:
- Perform comprehensive, women-centered health histories and screenings
- Perform corresponding physical assessments
- Individualize educational programs for patients
- Develop and implement a management plan for common women’s health concerns
- Breast cancer screening
- Contraceptive care
- STI screening, treatment, and follow-up
- Preconception care
- Pregnancy care
- Problems with menstruation
- Fertility evaluation
If you have a specific fertility-related question or would like a referral for a fertility preservation consultation, call the Oncofertility Consortium® FERTline at 312-503-FERT or 866-708-FERT to speak with a patient navigator and find a reproductive specialist near you.