Purpose: To describe the work of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and to encourage nurse practitioners (NPs) to use its evidence-based recommendations for clinical preventive services.
Sources: Evidence reports, recommendation statements, and journal articles published under the auspices of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force since its establishment in 1984.
Conclusions: A core competency for NPs working in primary care is knowledge about and provision of appropriate preventive services for their patients. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care, is an important resource for NPs.
Implications for Practice: NPs can use Task Force recommendations to guide their screening, counseling, and preventive medication decisions. They can also educate patients about the missed prevention opportunities related to underuse of effective services and the potential harms of overuse of inappropriate preventive services.