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Nurse Practitioners To Deliver Primary Care services Independently

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/24/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 831 times Debate No: 76896
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Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with years of nursing and medical experience who go back to school to become certified as Nurse Practitioners. They are trained clinically to provide primary care services and have a lot to offer. With physician shortages, lack of access to care in certain areas, changes in healthcare reimbursement, it is essential to fill the gap with highly trained individuals such as NP's. In California currently NP's are not allowed to practice without the supervision of physicians within their scope of practice (training) to give primary care. This barrier should be removed to allow the general public to gain access to care from trained healthcare providers.


While nurse practitioners are a noble and important profession, they follow a different treatment model than a physician would. Physicians follow a disease based model, which means they specialize in pathology and identifying what's physically wrong with a patient. A nurse practioner follows a patient based model, and specializes in treating the patient and providing education and preventative care.

While these models do overlap in some ways, a nurse doesn't know what he doesn't know when it comes to certain diagnoses. Patients are rarely textbook cases and often times an ailment can discuise itself as something else. Someone without as much experience or education in studying diseases might miss that diagnosis and prescribe the wrong form of treatment. Alternatively, patients might be referred to specialists for unneccessary testing that could have prevent from a simple oversight from a doctor with more experience.

We also need to look at how often a physician and nurse practician are educated and tested for recertification. While both can take up to 8 years to become a liscensed medical provider, a doctor is required to do more residency and have mandatory education hours each year, and recertification every 6-10 years. A nurse practitioner is required to be recertified every 5 years, however, no education hours are required. Physicians are required to be more up to date with current procedures than a NP would be.

In addition, studies that have been done on NP and physicians have shown patients ranking NPs and MDs about the same as far as level of care goes. However, since many NP's work under a physicians supervision, it is hard to tell what is exclusively nurse treatment and what is treatment with them working on a team. The two practices are complimentary to each other, however treating a patient is also about science as well as treating the patient, and that's where physician supervision comes in. They need to be there to oversee the NP's to make sure everything is running smoothly and patients are getting proper care they need.

Debate Round No. 1


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Debate Round No. 2


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Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF