Nurse Practitioners Practicing Without Physician Oversight

Should Nurse Practitioners be able to treat patients without Physician oversight?
In over one-third of the states, this question has already been answered. In those states, Nurse Practitioners have Full Practice Authority. Nurse practitioners with Full Practice Authority provide patients with direct access to the full services in which they are equipped to provide.  The “full service” or scope of practice of nurse practitioners is different from that of doctors.  Nurse Practitioners are not competing with physicians; they are providers that work in similar roles and many times on the same team. 
American Association of Nurse Practitioners Full Practice Authority Definition 

According to a research article, called “Recommendations for Matching Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Education and Certification to the Pediatric Acute Care Population”, the scope of practice for nurse practitioners has been carefully defined.

A study by ANA, showed that  Nurse Practitioners were more likely to practice in rural areas in states with greater practice autonomy (states with Full Practice Authority), with borderline statistical significance. In addition, male NPs were more likely than females to work in rural locations. These findings imply that practice autonomy should be considered as a state-level strategy to encourage rural practice by Nurse Practitioners.  This study found 152,185 APRNs with National Provider Identifiers-NPIs in the United States, of which 106,113 were Nurse Practitioners. Overall, there were 3.6 urban and 2.8 rural Nurse Practitioners per 10,000 people.
This report of rural health providers was funded by the American Nurses Association. 

According to Dr. Howard Rabinowitz, a professor of family and community medicine at Thomas Jefferson University's Medical College,  “The shortage of rural physicians is a "huge problem."   "About 20% of the population lives in rural areas but only 9% of physicians practice there," said Rabinowitz who has studied the issue for more than 30 years.

With this information, there is one clear conclusion, Nurse Practitioners, who in all research findings practice safely, deliver high quality of care, and receive high patient satisfaction scores, should be able to practice with full practice authority to help provide access for patients to healthcare. 

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

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