Considering Expansion of Nurse Practitioner Role

Presently there is shortage of Primary Care Physicians triggering argument in favor of Expansion in the role of Nurse Practitioners in the light of New Federal Health Law bringing around additional one million natives of Michigan as beneficiaries of insurance cover by the year 2014.

The Legislation regarding expansion of scope of practice for nurse practitioners, is also likely to be considered after the Legislature finishes with the state budget, most probably in the month of August, as the word is spread by Connie Knapped, in the capacity of president of Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners.

Knapped feels the matter has an urgency factor, because of the implications of new health law, because there are not many other alternative options to depend on.

The Situation of Locked Horns:

In all probability, there shall be an opposition to such a move by the Physician’s block.
The move shall be directly affecting the money, which the Physician’s are enjoying in the present situation. The move means shifting some of the activities, which nursing practitioners shall handle independently, which are at present being handled by the Physicians, because the nursing practitioner works under the supervision of the physician.

The physicians in turn get payment for the supervision offered since the present Michigan related law imposes that the Nursing Practitioners prescriptions are approved by the physician. Besides the supervision role of the Physician in relation to nursing practitioner can harm the revenues of the nurse practitioner, which has to be compensated by charging higher fee from the patients.

There can be an issue of increased liability to the nursing practitioner, with physician getting out of the supervisory role in certain specific conditions.

The Falling Short of Physician Numbers:

Considering the present situation of a would be physician intending to go for primary care practice, shall require from now onwards, minimum eight years training and by 2014, he or she shall be still under training and hence shall not be available by then.

With the present scenario Michigan is losing nurse practitioners, who are moving to other states, where nursing practitioners are permitted to practice. Comparatively Arizona State is very small in size than Michigan, where nurse practitioners are permitted to practice, the number of nurse practitioners is around 5600, whereas Michigan has only 3600 nurse practitioners. There are 28 states, which are planning to allow expansion in the powers of nursing practitioners as per Associated Press reporting on the subject.

Doctorate Qualifications of Future Nurse Practitioners:

By the year 2015 most of the new nurse practitioners shall get qualified with Doctorate degree based on the goals of educators in nursing field and doctorate degree shall become a standard for all nurse practitioners as viewed by American Association of Colleges of Nurses.

There is definitely requirement of legislation as per views expressed by the Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners (MCNP), because there are hindrances in accessing, health care, which has become costly and the quality has suffered in Michigan due to the present language used in respect of advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) in the state’s Public Health Code, framed in the year 1978. As a consequence there are very few registered nursing practitioners in the state of Michigan.

Improved Impact of New Legislation:

The legislation under consideration shall have a positive role in improving the conditions of access to the healthcare. This shall be helpful in stabilizing and increasing the number of nursing practitioners in the state. There shall be necessary changes in the regulations affecting institutions, who wish to employ more health providers. With the new legislation the nursing practitioners shall be in a position to prescribe pharmacopoeia and non-pharmacopeias medicines.

According to Knapper State Rep. Leisa Liss, D-Warren, have agreed for sponsoring the legislation.

On the contrary Michigan State Medical Society contradicts MCNP’s views, which is lacking in supportive evidence in relation to denial of access to Michigan’s current Public Health Code. It has been pointed out that in other states the nursing practitioners are not having the powers, which they are enjoying in Michigan. Speaking about the present law “It has flexibility and there is team spirit in it and not the least old law is required to be repealed.” Expansion in the authority of nurse practitioners is not going to improve the shortage of primary care physicians and insurance coverage is not any big thing”

View of Medical Economist:

The Medical economists are of the view that with the new legislation the American spending on healthcare shall be significantly reduced. Present health care costs needless to be high and can be reduced by substitution of Nurse Practitioners in place of physicians in certain areas, where there is unnecessary overlapping.

There are areas ranging from minimum 25 % to even 90 percent where the nursing practitioners can be effectively replaced with the present physician’s presence resulting into significant cost reduction.

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