Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners play a critical role in the administration of clinical process and procedures in the health practice. The shortage of physicians has enabled nurse practitioners to administer healthcare services to patients in primary health facilities. Accordingly, nurse practitioners gain foundation exposure in the medical field since they start their careers as nurses. The authority to provide clinical services is given to the nurse practitioners under the collection of state practice and licensure laws. The statutes allow these professionals to diagnose, assess patients, request for tests, and interpret test results. They are expected to administer treatment regimen by prescribing medications under “the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing.” States provide express licensing authority of practice to the nurse practitioners. Currently, 23 States have granted comprehensive practice rights to nurse practitioners in the country. The role of nurse practitioners is significant and enhances access to quality healthcare, especially in areas with few numbers of physicians.

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Granting comprehensive practice license to nurse practitioners enhances the quality of care and improves health outcomes of the patient, especially for young people, females, and non-white populations. The introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) led to an increased population of insured patients. Therefore, nurse practitioners fill the gap left by the limited physician population to deliver care within inpatient and outpatient departments. Those professionals have significantly reduced the waiting period to access services from a physician, especially for the U.S. veterans. For instance, some patients wait for more than 30 days to secure a physician’s appointment. Hence, the waiting period has significantly reduced due to the licensing of the nurse practitioners in primary healthcare. Besides, they have reduced cost in health institutions since they enjoy lower remunerations compared to physicians. They also enhance the quality of services and reduce wastages such as inappropriate testing. Therefore comprehensive practice authority to nurse practitioners benefits the entire healthcare sector.

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