An article appeared today in the New York Times as a followup to a bill passed in New York granting nurse practitioners the right to provide primary care without the oversight of a physician. The authors of the bill state "mandatory collaboration with a physician no longer serves a clinical purpose and reduces much-needed access to primary care". The need for more primary care providers is due to the shortage of primary-care physicians, the aging boomer population, and the Affordable Care Act.
Although the president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners feels that the current "hierarchical, physician-centric structure" is not necessary, many physicians disagree citing that the clinical importance of the physician's expertise is being underestimated and that the cost-effectiveness of nurse practitioners is being over-estimated.
Many physicians also feel that "nurse practitioners are worthy professionals and are absolutely essential to patient care. But they are not doctors."
What are your thoughts on this? Where do nurse practitioners fit into the healthcare hierarchy?
For the complete article go to Nurses are Not Doctors
Apr 30, '14
Quote from TU RN
This could be a great "pilot study" sort of situation for NPs across the country. I hope it yields favorable (comparable to MD/DO primary care) results and takes of nationwide. There is a shortage of primary care physicians, and an abundance of nurses willing to work in that area of care. My question is why is there a shortage of physicians in primary care, yet plenty of NPs entering that area? Perhaps they don't want that career? I personally feel that if physicians won't deign to work in primary care, then the necessity for them to oversee the provision of such care by autonomous, qualified, willing NPs is forgone. Basically, move your meat lose your seat. Besides, I'd rather see a NP working in primary care who views it as the peak of their performance as a nurse; rather than a physician in primary care who didn't get placed into their preferred residency and is choosing primary care as a backup.
Last edit by OCNRN63 on May 2, '14