Hi all. I am a new graduate RN who is enjoying his first job as a med-surg nurse. I don't know about everyone else, but I am so tired of the nurse practitioner craze that seems to be overtaking the newest wave of graduate RNs. Half the people I know at my new job are part-timers in grad school for a master's degree as a family nurse practitioner or a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Good on them, but does anyone else think the idea of a mid-level practitioner has been taken a bit too far?
I don't know about all of you, but if I had a medical issue, I wouldn't bother seeing an NP. I'd go straight to an MD. The idea of an NP seems folly to me. Either you are a nurse or you aren't one. Or, either you practice medicine or you don't. A nurse practicing some form of low-level to mid-level medicine seems absurd.
The position also seems discredited by the variance in the scope of practice among different states and the fact that NPs can never do surgery. If NPs had limitless prescription power, and could be trained for some surgeries, we'd be looking at something real. But the NP's that I have seen "practicing" at my hospital just seem to be adjunct to the MDs who see their patients. The patients don't take the NPs seriously for just that reason. They seem roleless. I feel like the hospital hires them just as tokens. I don't see NP's as the future of nursing -- AT ALL. There is this one lady nurse practitioner at my hospital who goes into the patients' room and says "Hi, my name is Kristen and I'm the nurse practitioner," and begins some interview while I as the bedside nurse think to myself "You know that patient doesn't care right? You know they will just forget about you once they are seen by the actual MD?" Of course I never say that. But that's what is in my mind. I see no point in them.
I see pure bedside nursing as our future. Nursing education. Stuff more involved in social services.
I think NPs are suffering from an identity crisis. Let me know your thoughts too.