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Yes! And they do in many states including the one in which I live. Presently, I am enrolled in an NP program of study.
I TRUELY believe that NP's are more consevative in medicating, try more holistic remeidies first, spend more time with the patient, and with patient education. I have been truly impressed by NP's, that is why I decided to join their ranks. I have not been impressed by the medical profession lately - they are in a sorry state, in my opinion. I've seen pt's in ECF go without seeing an MD for months!, while a NP at one particular facility makes a point to make daily rounds or calls - she makes one or the other on consecutive days. I cannot tell you how many times an MD just took the word of whomever talked with them on the phone - to prescribe a drug, later to find it was innapropriate, or had adverse affects!
If anyone should have prescription authority, I believe NP's are more prepared for it than MD's.
First of all, I agree that NPs should have prescriptive rights especially since it is now mandatory that NPs have a MSN and a pharmacology course. However, I would not say that NPs are more qualified than MDs to prescribe medications. How some MDs choose to prescribe drugs is their own perogative, and it is not for the NP to judge the MD in practice, but for the NP to practice competently. What is most important is for NPs to rally together to fight and defend the right to prescribe medications to their patients, not to bad mouth others poor practice!