Nurse Practitioners Pick Up Slack From Physician Shortage
Delaware recently became the 24th state to adopt full practice authority legislation which means that nurse practitioners can practice independently without physician oversight.
With the growing physician shortage, nurse practitioners are taking the places of physicians in primary care, particularly in rural areas hit hardest by the physician shortage. This provides people in these areas with access to care.
It is believed that the physician shortage is over 55,000 and the predicted shortfall of specialty physicians is close to 87,000. These numbers are scary because who will be available to provide care to people who choose traditional medicine?
Studies show that Nurse Practitioners have fewer claims of medical malpractice and I believe they enjoy higher patient satisfaction.
Unfortunately, the problems in nursing tend to continue for Nurse Practitioners as well.
Healthcare organizations need to do a better job at improving the culture so that nurses and nurse practitioners will want to stay in the profession and continue to be productive members in corporate healthcare rather than going out on their own, especially in states where there is full practice authority.