No short­age of stud­ies on roles, value of nurse prac­ti­tion­ers

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

The re­cent Guest Com­ment “As U.S. re­lies more on nurse prac­ti­tion­ers, we need to learn more about them,” (ModernHealthcare.com, June 26, p. 25) re­veals a trou­bling lack of knowl­edge about the ex­ten­sive body of re­search on nurse prac­ti­tion­ers.

Fifty years of ex­ten­sive, in­de­pen­dent study show that nurse prac­ti­tion­ers have pa­tient out­comes that are equiv­a­lent to those of physi­cians. This is not lim­ited to low-level care, but in­cludes the full range of of­ten com­plex health ser­vices nurse prac­ti­tion­ers have de­liv­ered for half a cen­tury. These stud­ies, and oth­ers cit­ing cost ef­fi­cien­cies and higher rates of pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion, have been suf­fi­ciently com­pre­hen­sive such that renowned pol­icy or­ga­ni­za­tions—the In­sti­tute of Medicine, the Na­tional Gover­nors As­so­ci­a­tion, the Na­tional Con­fer­ence of State Leg­is­la­tures, etc.—call for au­tho­riz­ing nurse prac­ti­tion­ers to prac­tice to their full scope of ed­u­ca­tion and clin­i­cal train­ing, as is now the law in 21 states and the Dis­trict of Columbia.

This coun­try ur­gently needs its nurse prac­ti­tion­ers and the safe, ef­fec­tive care they’ve been proven to pro­vide.

Cindy Cooke Pres­i­dent Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Nurse Prac­ti­tion­ers Austin, Texas

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