NPSchools.com Nursing Features
The nurse practitioner profession is growing at a rapid pace. And with growth comes change. Today’s nurse practitioners are dealing with staff shortages in rural areas, changes in educational standards, and battles for wider practice authority in select states. What will tomorrow’s nurse practitioners be concerned with? Our interview-based features and in-depth resource guides uncover the stories behind the big issues by talking to nurse practitioners who know the subject best.
In times of uncertainty, we rely on our ability to out-think the problem. The COVID-19 pandemic is no different, and it has spurred many creative healthcare innovations. All over the world, governments and people are working together to provide new forms of protection, preventative measures, and tools to fight COVID-19.
Today, one in four rural care providers is a nurse practitioner, and the number is even higher in states with full practice authority laws. Further modernization of the scope of practice for NPs would decrease the number of patients living in rural primary care shortage areas from 23 million to 8 million, according to a report from United Health Group.
The problem is simple: there are not enough primary care physicians completing residency programs to replace the ones who are retiring. And the answer could be simple, too: over 58 percent of nurse practitioners (NPs) specialize in primary care. What’s standing in the way is a set of outdated supervisory requirements, which say physicians are required to sign off, approve, or validate certain treatments performed by nurse practitioners.
As of April 20, COVID-19 has infected over 2.4 million people across the world and has caused unprecedented actions to be taken by many nations to flatten the curve. This novel strain of coronavirus has become one of the defining events of the 21st century—and we will be seeing the effects long after it’s gone.
In spring of 2019, nurses in New York said they’d had enough. Some were working with up to 18 patients at once, and the overload was causing safety issues for those receiving care as well as those providing it.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) recognizes the evidence and the therapeutic value of medical cannabis, and supports nurse practitioners in speaking about it with their patients. But in some states, NPs can still be prosecuted (either criminally or professionally) for prescribing it.
Standardizing education to ensure a minimum level of quality has been a huge problem as the number of institutions offering higher education increases. Over the past decade, there have been institutions in the news for scamming students with programs that provide little value and saddled them with costly loans. Thankfully, there are several organizations, public and nonprofit, established to help regulate higher education.