Part of the argument for this change in nurse's current responsbilities is to help with the additional multi-million Americans who are going to receive coverage thanks to the new health care law. "Experts predict that more physicians, nurses and other medical professionals will be needed to care for the 32 million additional Americans who will get coverage beginning in 2014 under the sweeping new health law. Nurses' groups say they can help ease a physician shortage. Last week, a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges said that in 2015, there will be a shortage of nearly 63,000 doctors across all specialties in America."
However, doctors argue that nurses don't have the same medical training and are therefore unqualified to perform the same tasks as doctors. "Doctors maintain that even with an advanced degree, these nurses do not have the same education that physicians get in medical school and residency programs and that patient safety could be compromised. They are also wary that their practices could see significant patient losses if the nurses were allowed to practice more independently."
But like it or not, changes are already happening across the country. "Colorado, for instance, recently became the 16th state to allow nurse anesthetists to work without a doctor's oversight. In Michigan, nurses are pushing for legislators there to allow advanced practice nurses to prescribe drugs. Other fights over scope of practice for registered nurses loom in Kentucky, North Caroline, Iowa and Minnesota."
The battle continues to wage and it will certainly be interesting to see how it plays out.
So tell me, how do you feel about about the topic? Would you be okay with an advanced practice nurse having the same role, or nearly the same role as a doctor?
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