The Role Of Nurse Practitioners

The Role Of Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners in a number of states are pressing lawmakers to let them practice without doctor supervision. Critics cite the risk of a lower standard of care. Debate over expanding the authority of nurse practitioners.

In 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, nurse practitioners are allowed to treat patients and prescribe medications without a doctor’s involvement. Lawmakers in a number of other states are pushing for similar changes to so-called "scope of practice" laws that determine what nurse practitioners can do for patients. Proponents argue expanding the roles of nurse practitioners can address what has become a major problem: a shortage of primary care doctors. But many physicians say a team-based approach that includes at least one medical doctor is better for patients. Please join us to discuss the role of nurse practitioners.


Dr. Reid Blackwelder

family physician and president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Mary Agnes Carey

senior correspondent for Kaiser Health News.

Ken Miller

nurse practitioner, associate dean at The Catholic University of America School of Nursing, and president-elect of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Sandra Nattina

nurse practitioner at Columbia Medical Practice in Columbia, Md., and past president of Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland.

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