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Doctor shortage? 28 states may expand nurses' role

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posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 02:34 PM
Yahoo! Article

With a looming shortage of primary care doctors, 28 states are considering expanding the authority of nurse practitioners. These nurses with advanced degrees want the right to practice without a doctor's watchful eye and to prescribe narcotics. And if they hold a doctorate, they want to be called "Doctor."

For years, nurse practitioners have been playing a bigger role in the nation's health care, especially in regions with few doctors. With 32 million more Americans gaining health insurance within a few years, the health care overhaul is putting more money into nurse-managed clinics.

The medical establishment is fighting to protect turf. In some statehouses, doctors have shown up in white coats to testify against nurse practitioner bills. The American Medical Association, which supported the national health care overhaul, says a doctor shortage is no reason to put nurses in charge and endanger patients.

This just came out on Yahoo about 30 minutes ago, havent seen this posted anywhere else yet.

Nurses being doctors.... it sounds somewhat alright and bad at the same time. With a shortage of doctors, why not use nurses for certain jobs, unless they are not qualified for it. The other part of me thinks that this may endanger some patients, depending on what is wrong with their health.

I wonder how this will all turn out in the next few years. Will there be decreased healthcare quality, or will it improve by using nurses for some of the doctors jobs? Im thinkin I may end up going into the medical field in college pretty soon.

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