To Your Health: Nurse Practitioners
A March 2017 study by the Association of American Medical Colleges estimated there could be a shortage of over 43,000 primary care physicians by 2030. This is why, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the health partner of choice for millions of Americans is quickly becoming a Nurse Practitioner.
This is National Nurse Practitioner Week.
All Nurse Practitioners must complete a master's or doctoral degree program, and have advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse preparation. While they may not have completed the same lengthy medical school training as Doctors and there is no substitute for a specialist, research has shown that when it comes to high blood pressure, diabetes, respiratory infections, and other common problems, there's little difference in treatment from M.D.s and advanced practice providers. A 2017 study found that practices with more Nurse Practitioners had fewer specialist referrals, hospitalizations, and ER visits.
Because Nurse Practitioners’ education and training emphasize patient-centered care, N.P.s focus on health education and counseling in addition to diagnosing and treating conditions. A study in the journal Medical Care found that patients tend to be more satisfied after a visit with an N.P., and that those visits tend to be longer.
• Levine, H., Roberts, C., & Interlandi, J. (2018). The _____will see you now. Consumer Reports, 83(3), 48–57. Retrieved from https://library.semo.edu:2443/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=127369025&site=ehost-live
• Roblin, D., Becker, E., Adams, E., Howard, D., & Melissa H. Roberts. (2004). Patient satisfaction with primary care: Does type of practitioner matter? Medical Care, 42(6), 579-590. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4640790