Redbook Magazine article slams NPs - docs warn public to stay away from NPs

  1. press release:

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    ANA Reacts to Redbook Article Disparaging NPs

    ANA President Barbara Blakeney, MS, RN, CS, ANP, has written a letter in response to an article in the November 2002 issue of Redbook Magazine, ("Advice docs give their own families"), that contains a section warning patients not be "brushed off" onto a nurse practitioiner (NP).

    October 18, 2002

    Letters
    Redbook
    224 West 57th St.
    New York, NY 10019

    Dear Editor:

    The American Nurses Association takes exception to the suggestion "Don't let yourself be brushed off onto a nurse practitioner" included in "Advice Docs Give Their Own Families" (November 2002, pg. 64). While we agree that patients should always be able to access their physicians, we are disappointed that the doctors Redbook interviewed chose to make that point by impugning the quality of care delivered by advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), specifically nurse practitioners (NPs).

    APRNs have been providing primary and preventive care to patients for more than 35 years. All APRNs must meet rigorous education, certification and continuing education requirements. Today, there are more than 160,000 APRNs, including 70,000 NPs, in the United States, and research dating back to the mid-1980s demonstrates that in terms of quality of care, patient satisfaction and cost-effectiveness, NPs are among the best values in health care. A 1986 federal government report (Office of Technology Assessment) concluded that APRN care is of equivalent quality to that provided by physicians and that in areas of communication and preventive care, APRNs are more adept than physicians. A 1993 study conducted for the ANA found that NPs deliver primary health care as competently as physicians and provide more health promotion activities, such as patient education, than physicians. The patients of the APRNs reported being more satisfied with their health care provider, complied with their treatment programs and were very knowledgeable about their health status.

    More recent research also bears out the high quality of care provided by NPs. A study in the May 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that in an ambulatory care setting in which patients were randomly assigned to either nurse practitioners or physicians, patients' outcomes were comparable. In the July 20, 2002, edition of the British Medical Journal, a study found that patients were satisfied with NP care and that no differences in health status existed. In fact, the study indicated that NPs took more time in consultations and used that time to investigate more about the health concern or illness than did doctors, and concluded that increasing availability of NPs in primary care is likely to lead to high levels of patient satisfaction and high quality care.

    Both the federal government and Congress have taken action recognizing the high quality of care provided by NPs. In 1998, the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs decided to formally accept NPs without links to physicians. And on Jan. 1 of that year, a federal law went into affect allowing Medicare to reimburse NPs directly in all geographic areas. In communities across the United States, NPs provide care in clinics and other community settings that help reduce the number of emergency room visits and keep frail elderly in their homes. Furthermore, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, NPs have some authority to write prescriptions for their patients.

    Implying that NPs provide a lesser quality of care is a disservice to your many readers who could benefit from the excellent care they provide and from the increased time that NPs spend answering their questions and reviewing their overall health.

    Sincerely,

    Barbara A. Blakeney, MS, APRN,BC, ANP
    President, American Nurses Association
    202-651-7011 >>>>>
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  2. 40 Comments

  3. by   imenid37
    my sister is an attorney w/ multiple health problems. she recently told me she sees her gyn's np now because she has more time and is better at listening to her and explaining tx options and benefits. sorry redbook shouldn't be giving medical/healthcare advice. they need to stick to weighty subjects like how faith hill and kelly ripa balance their families w/ their busy lives and what dresses will make you look thin for the holidays get the emesis basin STAT!
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I saw that and was INCENSED! If anyone has "brushed me off" it has been a DOCTOR not an NP, who took the time to listen to me, figure out the WHOLE person situation and took more than 2 minutes to do so. I think I will write a letter to that magazine asking them to address this error or cancel my subscription. It was unwarranted and just goes to show the public view of nurses being inferior care providers to the almighty physician.
  5. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by imenid37
    redbook shouldn't be giving medical/healthcare advice. they need to stick to weighty subjects like how faith hill and kelly ripa balance their families w/ their busy lives and what dresses will make you look thin for the holidays
    LMAO!

    Fortunately we see this for what it is: bogus misinformation. Unfortunately for many ignorant women out there, Redbook is a credible source of information.

    Kudos to Barbara A. Blakeney for speaking up! Was this letter actually published in the magazine?

    Heather
  6. by   l.rae
    how about a link?.....let's bombard them with e-mail......LR
  7. by   SharonH, RN
    This is yet another example of the AMA's never ending assault on advance practice nurses. Physicians are very threatened by APRNs' ability to provide safe, cost-effective care and the fact that NPs and APRNs often rank higher in patient satisfaction is an even bigger threat to them. I didn't even read the article but I bet you dollars to donuts that there wasn't a single shred of proof that NPs working within their scope of practice provide less safe care than an MD. The fact of the matter is that MDs are desperate to keep NPs and all nurses under their supervision and their control and the motivation is purely FINANCIAL. This really cheeses me off!
  8. by   LauraLou
    The Redbook webpage doesn't have much on it but you can find it at http://www.rbclick.com/ Their email address is webmaster@rbclick.com and the Redbook Editor in Chief is Ellen Kunes.

    Unless I am having heart bypass surgery, I would rather see a NP. My experience with HMO doctors has made me an even bigger fan of NPs. They listen to their patients and don't just write a prescription before you even finish telling them what's wrong.

    It's a shame such a prominent women's magazine would publish an article like that without making sure they have their facts straight.
  9. by   Reabock
    I just sent an e-mail in support of NP's. I wonder if any letters will get published?
  10. by   jdomep
    I just sent an email too!
  11. by   NurseAngie
    I won't be spending another of my dollars on a copy of Redbook magazine again! I guess it is up to us as nurses to reach the public and provide them with the information that is accurate. I personally prefer to see the NP rather than the MD for my healthcare and I have never been disappointed! I also love CNM's and I really respect them for hangin' tough and providing excellent care. ( had a terrific CNM in Italy! :kiss )

    ~Angie
  12. by   ICUBecky
    SmilingBlueEyes--- i think you should write a letter to the magazine....exactly the way you said it here. it really caught my attention, and i think it is a great statement. IMHO.
  13. by   JonRN
    All the NP's I know work for MD's, if they think their care is inferior to an MD's, why do they continue to hire them? I agree with the others on this topic, they treat the whole person, and take as much time as needed. Redbook is all about increasing orgasms anyway, and asinine crap like the Faith Hill balancing act mentioned before.

    Pappy :chuckle
  14. by   jnette
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    I saw that and was INCENSED! If anyone has "brushed me off" it has been a DOCTOR not an NP, who took the time to listen to me, figure out the WHOLE person situation and took more than 2 minutes to do so. I think I will write a letter to that magazine asking them to address this error or cancel my subscription. It was unwarranted and just goes to show the public view of nurses being inferior care providers to the almighty physician.
    DITTO on all counts !!!
    Well spoken, Blue Eyes ! ... my experience and sentiments exactly !
    I, too, see a N.P. for ALL my health care... she is the BEST and I know her interest in my wellbeing is GENUINE !

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