Nurse practitioners deserve oodles of Google Doodles.
Today, the Nurse Practitioner Association of New York had a pretty cool success. I wrote to the doodlers about it, sharing with them why I think the war between MDs and NPs should end, and how this innovation helps patients.
April 23, 2014. 10:19PM.
Big news in New York State today! The Nurse Practitioner Association of New York State (NPA) successfully got a tiny little law abolished that will help the nurse practitioners (NPs) practicing in my fine land.
The Written Practice Agreement, part of the Nurse Practitioners Modernization Act, which required all NY NPs to practice with a financially-binding, written agreement to a physician, was nixed today. Essentially, this means that NPs can now hang their own shingle and set up shop solo after about two years worth of supervised practice. It frees them from the financial commitment to pay a doctor to oversee their practice, and it confirms their status as primary care providers in a state dying for care.
I think this is pretty cool, and pretty daunting. When choosing what kind of graduate degree to pursue, the NP track scared the bejeezus out of me. The responsibility to diagnose, to treat based on my brain’s analysis alone? Forget it. This girl is just not that smart. That’s why I’m sticking to theory and policy and admin stuff; you make a mistake and you lose some money. NP mistakes? Shoot. That’s life.
But this doesn’t mean that all NPs can’t treat and care for patients in incredible ways. Organizations like the NPA wouldn’t exist if NPs weren’t serving a really necessary, really exceptional role in the care of our communities. Recent research is trumping all the flack that many organized medical groups are giving; some studies are even showing that NPs give far superior care to their MD counterparts.
This battle, though – MD vs. NP vs. RN – is an unproductive one. In the age of the ACA where millions of patients are flooding an already strapped system, there is little room for bickering. All providers, regardless of their specialties or training, must collaborate and work together for the better care of patients. An NP will never be the same as an MD, but that is why most patients choose either distinct provider. The fight against each other – the competition for top dog status – is silly, like pitting doves against alligators in a speed contest.
I think this new development in the laws surrounding NP scope is fabulously innovative. Are there NPs dancing in the streets of NY, celebrating their freedom from the oppression of MDs? I hope not. I hope this just frees up more NPs to care for more patients, realizing all along how holistic their care is with interdisciplinary collaboration.
Amanda Anderson, RN