An excerpt from an article that appeared in The Dallas Morning News appears below. The article highlights how nurses can both lower healthcare expenses and help to ease the primary-care crunch. Sandy McCoy, recently named nurse practitioner of the year by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, shares some interesting views on nursing. If you are an LVN in Texas looking to take advantage of these fantastic career opportunities, the good news is that LVN to Bachelor’s Degree of Nursing from Indiana State University in partnership with The College Network is now available in your state and is a great first step!
“A nurse practitioner can do 80 to 90 percent of what a primary-care doctor can do in the office. But it depends on their skill level,” said Sandy McCoy, a nurse practitioner who has treated patients in the Dallas area for 19 years. From McCoy’s perspective, the easiest solution to the state’s primary-care crunch would be to allow advanced RNs to have stand-alone practices that provide basic medical care for patients who have no doctor. Anything complicated would be referred to a physician, she said.
“Many nurses would work in rural areas if the state would relax some of the restrictions on their practices,” said McCoy, who also serves as president of Texas Nurse Practitioners, a statewide organization representing the interests of about 8,000 RNs. Currently, 19 states allow nurse practitioners to work independently of doctors. An additional 20 states allow some lesser form of collaboration between the doctors and nurses. Texas is one of 11 states that require physician supervision for nurse practitioners.. Studies show that specially trained RNs, who are paid less than doctors, could cut national health care expenses by billions of dollars. Such nurses include RN anesthetists, certified nurse midwives, certified clinical-nurse specialists and nurse practitioners.
Nurse practitioner Sandy McCoy (left) watches as Gracie Hood rings a bell for being a good patient after her examination.