Nurse Practitioners, what are they? This chart and video clip will provide some information about this type of provider. Colorado, one of twenty-one (21) states along with the District of Columbia that have due to the shortage of MD’s that practice at the Primary Care level have created legislation that gives Nurse Practitioners the authority or scope of practice to operate completely independent of an MD. This was decided after each states MD and NP Associations met and established certain guidelines that the Practitioner must meet before being able to apply for this authority. Nurse Practitioners have been around for years and there is a real possibility that you have already been seen and treated before by an NP; however, not ever NP is an independent provider as this is a newer concept. The HealthCare Clinic of Fort Collins is one of just a few owned and operated Nurse Practitioner clinics. If you still have questions about the NP role in regard to your health care, discuss this with them next time you are in their office.