Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nurse practitioners: The right prescription to ease doctor shortage?

Date:
November 12, 2012
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
Reports indicate that Michigan faces a physician shortage much larger than the national average, and it will grow as millions of Americans qualify for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Reports indicate that Michigan faces a physician shortage much larger than the national average, and it will grow as millions of Americans qualify for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Yet Michigan law prevents the medical professionals who could best mitigate this shortage from doing so, because it prohibits advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) from using the full scope of their training and education to treat patients.

"Current regulations make it more difficult to provide much needed care," said Joanne Pohl, professor emeritus at the University of Michigan School of Nursing.

Pohl, former director of the U-M's Adult Nurse Practitioner Program, testified before Michigan's Senate Health Policy Committee on behalf of Senate Bill 481, which would allow nurse practitioners to practice under their own license, independently of physicians.

Currently, 18 states and the District of Columbia have passed similar legislation allowing nurse practitioners to prescribe medications and practice physical and speech therapy, among other responsibilities.

Kathleen Potempa, dean of the U-M School of Nursing, believes the legislation is essential for plugging the hole left by the physician shortage, and for meeting the health care needs of Michigan citizens. It's also an issue for citizens in states with similar prohibitions on APRNs.

Potempa cites a 2010 Institute of Medicine report stating that laws limiting the practice of APRNs are barriers to providing the optimal health care and that finds nurse practitioners and other APRNs highly competent in providing primary care.

"APRN education is carefully regulated through national standards for curriculum and certification examinations," Potempa said. "In practice, they must prove their proficiency through national boards, similar to how most medical specialties are regulated."

Pohl told the senate committee that Michigan's health professional shortage will worsen without the legislation.

"(APRNs) know that Michigan has the reputation for not being nurse practitioner friendly from a regulatory sense and more are leaving and going to states where regulation is in alignment with national standards," she said.

A recent Michigan Academy of Family Physicians report finds that 45 percent of Michigan physicians plan to retire within 10 years. Michigan's average ratio of residents to primary care doctors is 874:1, compared to a national average of 631:1. The report also quotes statistics from the Association of American Medical Colleges, which predicts a shortage of 8,000 to 12,000 physicians by 2020, with primary care physicians accounting for about 4,000 of the shortage.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Nurse practitioners: The right prescription to ease doctor shortage?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112171054.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2012, November 12). Nurse practitioners: The right prescription to ease doctor shortage?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112171054.htm
University of Michigan. "Nurse practitioners: The right prescription to ease doctor shortage?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112171054.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins