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The Nurse Practitioner's Role in the Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Karen I. Swanson, MSN, FNP-C, is a nurse practitioner in the emergency department at St. Joseph Hospital & Health Center in Dickinson, ND.
    Karen I. Swanson
    Footnotes
    1 Karen I. Swanson, MSN, FNP-C, is a nurse practitioner in the emergency department at St. Joseph Hospital & Health Center in Dickinson, ND.
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    2 Stacey Pfenning, DNP, APRN-BC, FNP, is a faculty advisor at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. In compliance with national ethical guidelines, the authors report no relationships with business or industry that would pose a conflict of interest.
    Stacey Pfenning
    Footnotes
    2 Stacey Pfenning, DNP, APRN-BC, FNP, is a faculty advisor at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. In compliance with national ethical guidelines, the authors report no relationships with business or industry that would pose a conflict of interest.
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Karen I. Swanson, MSN, FNP-C, is a nurse practitioner in the emergency department at St. Joseph Hospital & Health Center in Dickinson, ND.
    2 Stacey Pfenning, DNP, APRN-BC, FNP, is a faculty advisor at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. In compliance with national ethical guidelines, the authors report no relationships with business or industry that would pose a conflict of interest.

      Abstract

      Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a devastating illness that can have lifelong and potentially disabling consequences. Because the disease affects 1.29 million Americans, nurse practitioners (NPs) can expect to encounter a patient who suffers from this disease sometime during their career. Early diagnosis is crucial. The purpose of this article is to provide NPs an understanding of the clinical presentation and diagnosis, treatment options, and follow-up required for RA patients. With the current shortage of specialists to provide care to these patients, there will be increasing opportunities for NPs to partner with other health care providers to manage this patient population.

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