Thank You, Nurses!

During National Nurses Week, I am making a special effort to say “thank you” to all the nurses in my life, and I invite you to do the same. Each and every day, in communities across the country, nurses help their patients to get and stay well. They use their incredible skills to comfort us in difficult times and care for us when we’re at our most vulnerable. For America’s 40 million family caregivers, nurses often become even more heroic …

States Cut Red Tape to Give Nurse Practitioners More Authority

This month, Gov. Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska state legislature made a smart move to remove the barrier that had prevented nurse practitioners from providing complete primary care for their patients. By cutting through the red tape, these elected officials have made more primary care clinicians available for Nebraskans in a variety of settings such as at home and in the community, medical offices, businesses like Walgreens, Target and CVS, and some workplaces. Nineteen other states have similar laws in …

Nurse Practitioners Fill the Gap

This month,  AARP The Magazine features Danielle Pendergrass, a nurse practitioner living in rural Price, Utah. Before Pendergrass opened her women’s health clinic in Price, many women in the area went years without seeing a doctor. The 60-mile trip to the nearest obstetrician-gynecologist was simply too far for many. Since her clinic opened, Pendergrass’ patient load has surged to 3,300 people. Lack of access to health care is not unique to rural Utah. Some 60 million Americans live in places …

Give Nurses More Authority to Heal

National Nurses Week comes to a close today, and I am reminded of my mom’s nurse, Sue. As my parents got older and Pop became Mom’s caregiver, they needed more help. Sue came once a week for the months following Mom’s return home from a rehabilitation center. She checked on Mom’s health and trained Pop on how to care for Mom during the week.  I am still so grateful for Nurse Sue and all that she did. She was one of …

We Need More Nurses to Provide Primary Care

A recent survey of doctors and nurses has put the spotlight on a topic that is becoming more important every day — the shortage of primary care providers and the role for nurses in fixing it. According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the doctors and nurses broadly agreed that, “Nurse practitioners should be able to practice to the full extent of their education and training.” Unfortunately, they held very different views on just what that …

Doctors Oppose Expanded Role for Nurse Practitioners

By Alvin Tran As nurse practitioners lobby to expand their authority and scope of practice in many states, a New England Journal of Medicine study released Wednesday documents a deep chasm between how doctors and nurses regard the issue. The study found the two groups overwhelmingly agreed that nurse practitioners should be able to practice to the full extent of their schooling and training. But doctors were less likely to concur that advanced practice nurses should lead medical homes, which deliver team-based, coordinated care to patients. Only 17 percent …