It’s not necessarily the “latest” news, however it’s certainly worth sharing on Innovative Nurse. I was just talking to a patient’s family about the role of a nurse practitioner and how they are being utilized in primary care. The patient indicated that he was often seen by the nurse practitioner and very impressed about the breadth of knowledge regarding his diagnoses, medications, and course of treatment. I directed them to a study that was performed from 1990-2008 that indicated advance practice nurses are providing care that is equivalent to that of their physician colleagues.
“Writing in Nursing Economics, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing associate professors Julie Stanik-Hutt, PhD, ACNP, CCNS, FAAN; Kathleen M. White, PhD, RN, CEA-BC, FAAN, and colleagues present what Stanik-Hutt calls “the stuff of which new health policy is made.” The analysis of 18 years of U.S. studies (1990-2008), found care by advanced practice nurses to be of comparable quality, safety, and effectiveness to that of physicians. Stanik-Hutt likens the study to research comparing the relative capacity of two different medications to treat the same illness; here, the study compares advanced practice nurse and physician effectiveness when treating people with the same illnesses. The study, conducted by a multidisciplinary team and funded, in part, by the Tri-Council for Nursing, specifically found care by nurse practitioners and nurse midwives is as good as, and in some ways better than, that of physicians. Clinical nurse specialists not only enhanced the quality of care for hospitalized patients, but also reduced unnecessary hospital days, stays, and readmissions.”
So what do you think about this nurses, and soon to be nurses? With the new patient protection and affordable care act, we’re going to need more advance practice nurses in primary care. Have you been considering this career path?