Nurse Practitioners Pertinent to Physician Shortage Solution

As we examine the future of healthcare in the United States, the topic of a physician shortage has become a significant area of discussion and concern. So what is meant by “physician shortage” and is there a solution to alleviate this quickly approaching issue?

An article published by the Wall Street Journal says experts warn there won't be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years and will see the specific need for 45,000 additional primary care physicians by 2020.

In an article published by uclahealth.org, Courtney Lyder, dean of the UCLA School of Nursing says, "The addition of as many as 35 million more people with health insurance will create enormous demands that the current system is simply not prepared to handle. Today's shortage of primary care physicians will only be exacerbated unless we look to nurses and nurse practitioners to fill the gaps in providing needed care."

With the extensive scope of practice that Nurse Practitioners possess, along with the enriched experience gained from schooling and working in the field, Nurse Practitioners are the key to alleviating the nation’s shortage of physicians and providing exceptional healthcare to the US population.

Nurse Practitioners are highly educated and qualified healthcare providers that have the capability to perform complete physical exams, take health histories, diagnose and treat common acute minor illnesses or injuries, order and interpret lab results and x-rays, manage stable chronic illness, counsel clients, and provide health education. In addition, Nurse Practitioners can manage care of patients with complex chronic illness as well as unstable chronic conditions, complex acute illnesses, and critical illnesses. Many Nurse Practitioners may prescribe medications according to the state law in which they practice. In addition, many states are currently reviewing regulations to allow Nurse Practitioners to practice more independently, with little to no physician involvement.

With the foreseen shortage of primary care physicians, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners will become prevalent in the primary and acute care setting, and will assume an increased role of independent patient care. Jill Gilliland, President of Melnic Consulting Group says, “Pediatric Nurse Practitioners are an effective alternative to physicians as independent practitioners. Their high competency level allows them to be collaborative team members, and they play a key role in providing a solution to busy practice environments.”

There are approximate 160,000 Nurse Practitioners in the United States and of those, 13,000 are Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. To find a job opportunity in Pediatric Nursing or to learn more about Advance Practice Nursing School Masters and Post Masters Programs visit http://www.melnic.com/ If you are a pediatric physician, office manager, or hospital recruiter, learn more about the benefits of hiring a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

To inquire about these jobs visit Melnic Consulting Group or contact:Jill Gilliland 800-886-7906 jill@melnic.com

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