Doctoring, Without the Doctor

Here is a great article in the NY Times about the struggle Advanced Practice Nurses have waged to be allowed to go where no doctor wants to go–rural America.  These specialized nurses have gotten additional education to enable them to work independently in remote areas.

Since the very beginning of the idea of APN’s, the AMA has been up in arms about nurses who want to be doctors!  They are missing the real point.  Nurses will never aspire to become doctors, period.  They just want to take better care of those patients that need them.  They are willing to go into the rural areas to see patients that would otherwise never receive any medical care.  Doctors don’t want to do that because there isn’t enough money in it.

Whether you agree or disagree with the use of advanced practice nurses, please read this entire article so you will be better prepared the next time you are asked your opinion.

Doctoring, Without the Doctor

It wasn’t. A state law required nurses like her to get a doctor to sign off before they performed the tasks for which they were nationally certified. But the only willing psychiatrist she could find was seven hours away by car and wanted to charge her $500 a month. Discouraged, she set the idea for a practice aside and returned to work on her ranch.

“Do you see a psychiatrist around here? I don’t!” said Ms. Osburn, who has lived in Wood Lake, population 63, for 11 years. “I am willing to practice here. They aren’t. It just gets down to that.”

But in March the rules changed: Nebraska became the 20th state to adopt a law that makes it possible for nurses in a variety of medical fields with most advanced degrees to practice without a doctor’s oversight. Maryland’s governor signed a similar bill into law this month, and eight more states are considering such legislation, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Now nurses in Nebraska with a master’s degree or better, known as nurse practitioners, no longer have to get a signed agreement from a doctor to be able to do what their state license allows — order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications and administer treatments.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is such a wonderful victory,’” said Ms. Osburn, who was delivering a calf when she got the news in a text message…(read the rest of the article here)

This entry was posted in Nursing, Nursing Articles, Nursing Issues and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.