Are Nurse Practitioners Easing Shortages in Underserved Areas?

American Medical Association

No matter if a state supports physician-led care or allows nurse practitioners to care for patients without any physician involvement immediately after graduation, the answer is the same.

Data just doesn’t support the argument that changing laws to allow nurse practitioners to practice without physician supervision increases access to health care for patients in rural and other areas underserved by limited access to health care…

…Yet research shows that, in addition to setting up practice in the same geographic locations as physicians, many nurse practitioners also are opting to pursue non-primary care specialties.

For example, the Oregon Center for Nursing found that just 25% of nurse practitioners practiced in primary care. And a study by researchers from the State University of New York, Albany, School of Public Health Center of Health Workforce Studies found that newly graduated nurse practitioners in the Empire State were more likely to go into a specialty or subspecialty than they were to go into primary care.

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