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Unpublished Paper
Nursing the Primary Care Shortage Back to Health: How Expanding Nurse Practitioner Autonomy Can Safely and Economically Meet the Growing Demand For Basic Health Care
ExpressO (2011)
  • Michael B Zand
Abstract
As well-educated health care professionals, nurse practitioners are strongly positioned to fill the primary care gap created by the decreasing number of general practice physicians. However, due to robust opposition from the medical profession, nurse practitioners are burdened by a state by state patchwork of laws that impede their autonomous practice of medicine. Such barriers include limits on the right to prescribe medications, elaborate requirements to collaborate with physicians, and limits on insurance reimbursement. Although the profession of nurse practitioner only began in the 1960s, at which point physicians had long enjoyed a legal monopoly over the practice of medicine, this rapidly growing profession has made great strides in gaining limited legal autonomy to provide medical care. For example, as of 2006, all 50 states allow nurse practitioners to prescribe medication. However, depending on the state, the power to prescribe may be limited to uncontrolled substances or subject to physician approval. Because nurse practitioner care has been shown to be safe, cost-effective, and well-received by patients, law makers should champion the further expansion of nurse practitioner autonomy as one simple and efficient way to solve the health care crisis.
Disciplines
Publication Date
January 4, 2011
Citation Information
Michael B Zand. "Nursing the Primary Care Shortage Back to Health: How Expanding Nurse Practitioner Autonomy Can Safely and Economically Meet the Growing Demand For Basic Health Care" ExpressO (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_zand/1/