They're the people who help when you or your children are sick. And this week, many are saying thank you to nurse practitioners. Our Annette Garcia spoke with one Family Practitioner and his patients about they work they do everyday. They're considered physicians partners. Not quite a doctor, but still tasked with delivering quality healthcare. Julio Lujano is a family nurse practitioner who sees dozens of patients every day. “We are licensed to treat and diagnose. order diagnostic workup. Nurse practitioners work from private officers. hospitals work in the government.” This week is set aside nationwide to recognize people like Lujano. He's one of over 200 nurse practitioners in Laredo, who sees many patients who cant afford a traditional doctor or may not have the option to. “Laredo isn’t getting any smaller and there aren’t enough physicians coming in to supply demand of health care. We're an alternative.” “There’s a lot of people who cant afford things like that.” Patients here in Laredo say people like Lujano are their answer to a healthy family. “I’m really grateful to all of them they help kids like him. every little kid gets sick all the time. So in thankful for people like him.” There are about 155,000 registered nurse practitioners nationwide. National nurse practitioners week was recognized by Congress in 2004.