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American Sign Language:  "nurse"

Nurse is an similar to the sign "doctor."  Nurse uses a modified "N" handshape on your dominant hand to "take your pulse." In general you tap the "N" on the wrist twice, but at high speed signing you might see it only touching once.



How do you sign "Nurse Practitioner?"

To sign Nurse Practitioner just spell "NP."
If needed you can sign NURSE and then spell out practitioner at the beginning of your conversation and then sign CONDENSE/SUMMARIZE "NP"
For the sign "summarize" see:
Then for the rest of the conversation you just sign NP to mean Nurse Practitioner.

For what it is worth -- I have seen NURSE PRACTICE to mean Nurse Practitioner -- even though I personally do not recommend that approach at this time. I only mention it because it is important for you to know that some "so called" experts will knee jerk tell you it is wrong to sign NURSE PRACTICE to mean "Nurse Practitioner" -- when such so called "experts" haven't actually socialized with a wide spectrum of Deaf individuals who use ASL as their primary mode of communication.

People might try to tell you: The sign PRACTICE doesn't mean "practitioner." They may be technically right from a narrow point of view -- however having a "primary meaning" hasn't prevented the sign VACATION from meaning HOLIDAY and then extending further to mean HOLLYWOOD!. 

ASL signs evolve in strange ways to fit the needs of Deaf people. Some ASL Academics need to do a bit (or a lot) less prescribing and more (observing and then) describing of how ASL is actually used on the hands of native or near native Deaf signers.

In general though, if you feel the need to be specific, I suggest you use "NP" to mean "nurse practitioner" after context has been established.

However realistically in most of your interactions with members of the Deaf Community you can just refer to yourself as a nurse using the sign for NURSE and it will satisfy the vast majority of situations.

I'm fairly educated, hold a doctorate (in Deaf Studies), have been in and out of hospitals a significant amount providing compassionate visits and/or other reasons -- and yet if you were to ask me the difference between a nurse practitioner, a licensed practical nurse (LPN), and/or a registered nurse I would not be able to do so with any level of confidence. To me (and I'm betting to most people who do not work in the medical field) you are all under the warm fuzzy umbrella term "nurse" (that person who is nice to you after the doctor has left).

Warm regards,
- Dr. Bill

p.s. Note: Context is important though because NP can also mean "no problem."

Also see: Doctor

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