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Nurse Practitioners: an Essential Part of
Your Care Team

“Nurse practitioners are knowledgeable clinicians who provide very high-quality care. They do a great job taking care of patients.”
Andrew Joel, MD, FACS, VHC Physician Group Urology

“Care is seamless, whether patients see a physician or a nurse practitioner. Patients appreciate that.”
Ali Asad Arastu, MD, VHC Physician Group Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine

“Both the physician and the nurse practitioner know the patients and their medical history. It’s beneficial for patients because the physician is not the only provider they know at the practice.”
Chris Walsh, MD, FACP,VHC Physician Group Primary Care Arlington

Medical Services

VHC Physician Group Nurse Practitioners

VHC Physician Group nurse practitioners (L-R): Yvonne Pierce, MSN, RN, WHNP-BC; Erin O’Brien, FNP-C; Alice Greenwood, FNP-BC; Blake Flarida, FNP-C; Janice Zima, NP; Julie Whitacre, MSN, FNP-C; Kelley Zinka, FNP-BC; and Ekua McCalla, FNP-BC. Not pictured: Emily Everett, MS, FNP-BC; and Susan Kioko, MSN, BSN, AGPCNP-BC.

Although Nurse Practitioners (NPs) have been part of several VHC Physician Group practices for years, many patients are meeting them for the first time. We asked a primary care physician, a specialist and a surgeon about the role nurse practitioners play and the high-quality care they bring to VHC Physician Group care teams. Special thanks to: Emily Everett, MS, FNP-BC; Alice Greenwood, FNP-BC; and Janice Zima, NP for their valuable input about nurse practitioner training and the wide range of services they provide.


A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Advanced Practice Nursing. Typically, nurse practitioners work as registered nurses for a period of time prior to enrolling in a graduate-level nursing program to earn a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. The first year of the MSN program focuses on general medical education; the second is spent learning more about the specialty field they have chosen. Specialty areas for nurse practitioners include acute care, emergency medicine, family medicine, geriatrics, neonatal, pediatrics, psychiatry and women’s health. After graduation, nurse practitioners must pass a board exam and be licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia in order to prescribe medication and treat patients.


Nurse practitioners deliver high-quality, coordinated care in primary care, specialty and surgical VHC Physician Group practices. They are fully trained to manage, diagnose and treat patients. Nurse practitioners can prescribe medications and order tests; treat and monitor chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes; perform annual physicals and well-woman exams; counsel patients about disease prevention and health education; and much more.


Physicians and nurse practitioners communicate regularly about their patients. The physician is always available to consult with the nurse practitioner on any treatment issues. This collaboration is greatly enhanced through shared access to the VHC Physician Group electronic health record by all members of the care team.


Nurse practitioners enable VHC Physician Group practices to provide timely, comprehensive and accessible care. They are frequently available for same-day urgent appointments. What’s more, as part of the care team, nurse practitioners see patients on an ongoing basis, often for years. They provide a higher level of care for patients because they know them well.

Contact Info

Primary Care

  • Phone: 703.DIAL.VHC
  • Website

If you are a patient of one of the doctors with the Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group practices, you can access your OFFICE VISIT information on the


If you need help with the VHC Physician Group Portal, please call 703.717.7100.


Your Partner for Health

Your VHC Physician Group primary care team knows everything about your health and is the perfect partner for your healthy journey through life. From making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, quitting smoking or managing stress, to detecting problems early, like borderline high blood pressure and pre-diabetes, your care team has the resources to help you. Navigating through all the guidelines and recommendations for vaccinations and important screenings, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, can be complicated and confusing. Your primary care team can evaluate your current health, as well as your family history, and guide you down the right path. Be proactive and take care of your health. Our primary care practices are accepting new patients and offer:

  • Same-day, urgent appointments
  • Extended hours
  • Phones answered all day, even during the lunch hour
  • In-house labs
  • Electronic prescriptions

1701 N. George Mason Drive | Arlington, VA 22205-3698 | tel 703.558.5000
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