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Trending Now: Physician oversight of nurse practitioners

Saturday May 17, 2014
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The governor of Nebraska vetoed a bill that would have allowed NPs to practice without physician oversight. In a statement, Gov. Dave Heineman said, “If LB 916 had required approximately 4,000 hours of clinical experience, I would have signed it into law ...” Does his rationale make sense? Our Facebook fans — nurses and nursing students — have spoken:

NPs have BSNs, master’s degrees and advanced training. Generally, they have worked as RNs for years before their advancement. Most MDs have no patient care experience and see the person as a symptom. There are pros and cons to both arguments.
— Norman Schefer

True that nurses are not MDs — that’s why they practice nursing, not medicine. The Institute of Medicine report on the Future of Nursing calls for advanced practice nurses to be allowed to practice to the full extent of their education and experience.
— Carolyn Mutchler Kelly

Bottom line, the 4,000-hour requirement is not unreasonable. It is amazing how little people know about what really goes on in hospitals in regards to how new physicians are trained. Healthcare workers and politicians have to work together in order to fill the void the primary care MD shortage has created.
— Janice Fleming

Supported by physicians, yes, but still have autonomy as a practitioner. Some MDs have no clue, however, require no oversight. Mind blowing.
— William Robert

I agree NPs are to be supervised and supported by physicians. This does not reflect negatively on nursing.
— Judy Jones

Of course NPs should have physician oversight. They’re nurses. If they want to practice independently, then they should become physicians. I’ve worked with some great NPs and I’ve worked with some questionable ones. Bottom line, they’re still RNs, not physicians.
— Sarah McClure Schaub

Not all NPs practiced nursing. I have my BSN, but my first year actually working is when my learning really began. Books and tests just don’t cut it. I’m ready to begin an NP program. I’ve seen a lot and learned a lot, but I will need an MD’s guidance. For minor ailments and common health problems I prefer an NP. They spend more time with patients, are excellent listeners and educators, and have great bedside manner.
— Heather Rogerson

I’m in an NP program, after having practiced in some of the most difficult parts of the hospital, and I am of the school of thought that you can’t learn all the advanced concepts in three or so years. Neither can medical residents. A substantial amount of patient hours is necessary to train NPs, who didn’t get great patient care experiences prior to becoming NPs. More experienced NPs can benefit from the contact hours, as well.
— Adrienne Arnold

More supervised hours doesn’t make sense, nor does collaborative practice agreements. NPs use all the care resources and don’t work without knowing their scope of practice. It works without more hours in many states. Nebraska was not smart.
— Alicia LePard

To see what else is trending, visit www.Nurse.com/Nurse-Practitioners.


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