Author Archives: Stephen

I’m Dr. Stephen Ferrara, a practicing Nurse Practitioner with over 10 years of clinical experience. I’m a senior clinical associate at a large urban hospital system in the Bronx, NY and I’ve owned and operated the largest Nurse Practitioner retail based clinic operation in New York State. I have experience in college, correctional and men’s health.

I have my Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Nursing as well as my Master’s degree, and recently I attained the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree! I’m active within my state’s nurse practitioner association and have lectured at numerous conferences.

In addition to blogging here at, for the past 3 years I’ve authored A Nurse Practitioner’s View. I have a passion for health care technology and integrating evidence-based practice into daily practice.Thanks for stopping by! I hope you find the information on this blog useful for your educational and career endeavors into the field of nursing.

Different States, Different Rules

One of the biggest areas of frustration for students, stakeholders, and nurse practitioners are the seemingly lack of consistency among state regulations regarding NP practice. The rules in one state may not necessarily apply in the next (and even neighboring state). I have known NPs that lived near state borders, licensed in both states, yet had completely different sets of rules regarding what they can/can’t do, requirements for collaboration versus autonomy and prescribing ability.
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A Cure for the Common Cold? — Not Quite

With back-to-school and the Fall season upon us, the common cold will once again rear it’s ugly head. The search for curing the common cold is an on-going topic in health care. We have heard all sorts of both traditional and homeopathic remedies including some bizarre treatments to various mega-dosing of vitamins and minerals. In recent months, 2 systematic reviews/meta-analyses have been published that examine the studies completed on the mineral, zinc. (As a reminder, a systematic review/meta-analysis is considered the highest level of evidence on the evidence pyramid by using the data from other studies to form an overall conclusion about the intervention in question).
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Prescription: Exercise

Diet and exercise. Those two words are used so often when prescribing an intervention for patients with chronic health conditions (such as diabetes/obesity, etc) and in the maintenance of wellness. It is important for clinicians to specify and give some parameters to patients regarding the exercise component. It is unrealistic (and unnecessary) to expect patients to join a gym and become a workout freak. However, specific instructions such as a brisk 10 minute walk 2-3 times a day is much more feasible and attainable. In fact, evidence suggests that three 10 minute bursts of exercise is as good for you as a prolonged 30 minute workout.  Oftentimes, these interventions are essentially lifestyle and behavior modifications which take a considerable amount of counseling and guidance – if it were that easy to do, there we be virtually no obesity and obesity-related conditions.
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3 Essential Tips for NP/DNP Students

Where has the time gone? We find ourselves in the middle of August as the summer is quickly winding down where thousands of nurse practitioner students will either start or return to their coursework in addition to existing nurse practitioners returning for their doctorate degrees in either nursing practice (DNP), education, (EdD), or philosophy (PhD).  Today, I offer some tips on preparation for returning to school.
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Let Us Be Heard

I started my first blog, A Nurse Practitioner’s View, 3 years ago because there were very few health stories that even mentioned nurse practitioners as part of the health care landscape. Right before I started the blog, I would respond to other health policy articles published on the Web by writing comments to the websites – only to be subjected to baseless and factually incorrect statements. It was soon thereafter that I decided I would write my own perspective on health policy, trends, and news. I also felt it important from a credibility aspect to not blog anonymously but to put my name on it.
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Health Care Delivery in Alaska and Beyond

The NY Times recently highlighted a team model of care that has been utilized in Alaska by the Southcentral Foundation. The model has proved successful in driving down unnecessary emergency department visits and creating a patient-centric atmosphere with convenience and quality of care as driving forces. The model is being studied by other states, health systems and even in other countries.
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Will You Prescribe (or Take) the New Weight Loss Medications?

The Food and Drug Association (FDA) recently approved two new weight loss medications, Belviq and Qsymia, after approximately 13 years of no weight loss drug approvals. The medications are expected to be available later this year and early next year. It is important to note that these 2 medications are very different from one another and have side effects and precautions that are unique to each of them. For example, Qsymia will require women of child-bearing age to have monthly pregnancy tests since the medication can cause birth defects such as cleft-palate.
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