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Nurse practitioners: A solution to America’s primary care crisis – AEI

"For the past few decades, the United States has not produced enough primary care physicians. Moreover, too few physicians practice in rural and medically underserved areas, and the number of people lacking adequate access to primary care has increased. Meanwhile, studies have piled up pointing to the high quality of care that nurse practitioners (NPs) provide, and increasing numbers of policy-influencing bodies have recommended expanding the use of NPs in primary care. Yet, barriers to the expanded use of NPs persist, and, consequently, tens of millions of Americans lack adequate access to primary care services. This report describes and integrates new evidence from a research program focused on the primary care workforce, NPs’ role in primary care, and the potential for NPs to help solve the problem of Americans’ access to quality primary care."

We are experiencing a primary care crisis and Nurse Practitioners are the solution. This article is a must read, published by the American Enterprise Institute. Here are a few highlights and important findings from the report.

“For the past few decades, the United States has not produced enough primary care physicians. Moreover, too few physicians practice in rural and medically underserved areas, and the number of people lacking adequate access to primary care has increased. Meanwhile, studies have piled up pointing to the high quality of care that nurse practitioners (NPs) provide, and increasing numbers of policy-influencing bodies have recommended expanding the use of NPs in primary care. Yet, barriers to the expanded use of NPs persist, and, consequently, tens of millions of Americans lack adequate access to primary care services. This report describes and integrates new evidence from a research program focused on the primary care workforce, NPs’ role in primary care, and the potential for NPs to help solve the problem of Americans’ access to quality primary care.”

“The evidence leads to three recommendations that can help overcome the growing challenges facing the delivery of primary care in the US. First, private policymakers such as hospital boards and credentialing bodies should allow NPs to practice to the fullest extent of their training and ability. Second, physicians must understand that NPs provide quality health care to those in need. NPs and physicians should work together to build relationships that allow for their respective roles and practices to evolve, respecting each other’s strengths and ultimately leading to a workforce that is more responsive to communities’ health needs. Third, public policymakers should remove restrictions on NPs that limit their scope-of-practice.”

Click here for the link to the full report. Nurse practitioners: A solution to America’s primary care crisis

 

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