Nursing News: Nurses Setting Up Primary Care Practices | LeAnn Thieman: If the proposals, which face opposition from some physicians’ groups, succeed, the number of states allowing nurses to practice without any type of physician supervision would increase from 16 to 30, in addition to the District.
The legislation being proposed could spur tens of thousands of nurses to set up primary-care practices that would be virtually indistinguishable from those run by doctors. The last big legislative push of this type, a state-by-state effort that began in the late 1980s, sputtered by the early 1990s. This time, however, the campaign is being coordinated nationally by the Nurse Practioners Association and other nursing groups and is getting a critical boost from state officials concerned about the 2010 health-care law’s looming impact on the availability of doctors.
Beginning in January 2014, about 27 million uninsured Americans are expected to get coverage under the law, contributing to a projected shortage of about 45,000 primary-care physicians by 2020, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.