Independent Role Of Nurse Practitioners Research Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Health - Nursing Type: Research Paper Paper: #82032570 Related Topics: Nurse Practitioner, Physician, Advanced Nursing, Medical Assistant
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Nurse Practitioners Should Work Independently of Physicians

One of the problems facing health care is the inadequate number of primary-care physicians, more so among the rural population. There are fears that shortages will only get worse as a rising number of patients look for care Under Affordable Care Act. Besides the provision of advanced nursing care, nurses have licenses to offer clinical care, including the ordering of X-rays and lab work, and are particularly helpful in helping patients having chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes cope (Holmes, 2013).

Nearly one third of states now permit nurse practitioners to practice in the absence of physician supervision. Nursing groups as well as health-care interests are however lobbying that nurses be granted the same level of autonomy in all states as in the other states that do not require physician supervision. Some interest group, while still appreciating the efforts put forth by nurses, argue that teamwork instead of autonomy would do more for our health-care than granting nurses autonomy. Angela Golden, an assistant professor at Northern Arizona University and the president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, is one of those arguing for the case of autonomous practice without physician supervision. She practices in rural Arizona (Holmes, 2013).

In some of the states nurses are allowed to serve without physician supervision for almost 20 years. Other states should consider granting nurse practitioners the same level of independence. Research has indicated that nurses spend more time with patients than physicians, giving counseling,...


They are best suited for the rising number of Americans that battle chronic ailments like asthma, hypertension and diabetes. Studies carried out by independent researchers indicate that there is always equal or higher satisfaction among patients receiving care from nurse practitioners against those who receive care from physicians. Similar clinical outcomes can be produced by both groups as has been indicated by Health Affairs, a health-care practice peer reviewed journal. It is therefore not clear why there are still restrictions placed on autonomy on two-thirds of American states. The possible explanation is always political or incorrect information (Holmes, 2013).

It is indeed true that the states have varying certification requirements. Yet, because of good graduate education, most nurse practitioners are adequately prepared for the provision of primary care without the need of physicians supervision at all times. There are instances where the services they deliver matter more than those delivered by physicians. Their health-care education takes place over a period of at least 6 years. Right from the induction, the focus is always one area. In contrast, students in medical school go through extensive rotations which are always peripheral to care that they finally deliver (Holmes, 2013).

It follows that, nurse practitioners are compassionate and skilled professionals ready to serve independently as the sole primary caregivers in rural areas to populations that are uninsured and underserved medically. Having a statutory requirement that they be supervised by physicians, leads to unnecessary and costly redundancies, that can be better utilized for overall efficiency in the healthcare domain. The situation can only worsen if…

Sources Used in Documents:


Dueker, M.J., A.K. Jacox, D.E. Kalist, and S.J. Spurr. The Practice Boundaries and Advanced Practice Nurses: An Economic and Legal Analysis. Journal of Regulatory Economics, 27, 2005, 309-29.

Holmes, L. (2013, June 13). Should Nurse Practitioners be able to treat patients without Physician Oversight. Retrieved from The Wall Street Journal:

John, P. (2009, January 10). The rise and impact of nurse practitioners and physician assistants on their own and cross-occupation incomes. Retrieved from FPO:

Page, L. (2014, October 29). Physicians, NPs and PAs: Where's all this going? Retrieved from Medscape Multispeciality:

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