With the evolution of healthcare, there has been a push towards more progressive and modernized techniques in order to treat patients efficiently and save lives. Unfortunately, with this advancement comes a lack of respect for nurses, most notably nurse practitioners (NPs). NPs are individuals who act as primary care providers; without requiring any prior experience, an NP can complete physical exams and write prescriptions for ill patients.
While some states require NPs to be under the supervision of another physician while writing prescriptions, many feel that they are not given enough authority compared to other physicians such as doctors and surgeons. This lack of respect may stem from the public believing that NPs do not have the same level of knowledge as physicians.
However, if you look at statistics, it would appear that NPs are doing something right; they are practicing modern medicine with less medical malpractice suits than other types of doctors.
What is a Nurse Practitioner?
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are nurses who have completed nurse practitioner training. NPs are registered nurses (RNs) who will complete an additional four years in a graduate-level nursing program to receive their Masters of Nurse Practitioner Practice.
They will learn to diagnose and treat various illnesses, prescribe medications, and teach patients about their conditions during this time. NPs are the logical evolution of the nurse; they are educated to take care of patients in a way that is more efficient than traditional nursing- without requiring any additional training after becoming an RN.
Do Nurse Practitioners have a bad reputation?
Unfortunately, due to the lower level of respect that NPs receive compared to physicians, they are often accused of poor practices. Media claims such as “Nurse Practitioners regularly misdiagnose patients” continue to circulate throughout the US. This lack of respect is most likely rooted in the public’s belief that physicians and surgeons hold a higher power and knowledge than nurses.
Although the idea that physicians require more training to practice medicine is valid, it does not mean that NPs are less professional or provide inferior care to patients.
Education and Training
An NP is required to complete at least three years in an entry-level nursing program followed by four years of master’s level education. The coursework for an NP includes many fundamental nursing courses such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and pathophysiology.
Scope of practice
Each state has its own individual scope of practice laws that determine the freedoms that NPs are permitted to utilize in a particular state. For a NP to successfully carry out his or her job functions, they must be granted the proper scope of practice.
Laws regarding nurse practitioners in the United States
The laws regulating NPs vary from state to state; some states allow NPs to write prescriptions without physician oversight, while others require that they are under the supervision of another doctor while writing prescriptions.
Job opportunities for nurse practitioners
Nurse practitioners can currently be found working in all areas of medicine, with most NPs practicing in primary care due to its simplicity and usefulness in treating patients. There are many job opportunities for NPs in the United States today, especially with the drastic shortage of primary care providers expected to occur over the next few years.
Nurse Practitioner’s role in saving lives
Nurse practitioners act as primary care providers; they can diagnose and treat illnesses and provide preventative care. Since the role of a primary care provider is so important, it is no surprise that NPs play a significant role in saving lives.
Nurses practice modern medicine
As primary care providers, NPs are essential to the framework of modern medicine and play a vital role in ensuring that patients get the proper diagnosis and treatment. The NP’s knowledge and skill level are almost equivalent to physicians’; this allows them to provide high-quality primary care without needing additional training after becoming registered nurses.
Nurse Practitioner’s lower pay scale
One of the chief complaints among physicians is that nurse practitioners earn a lower salary than most physicians. In addition, they work long hours and are required to give their undivided attention to patients during every visit. However, NPs receive less respect from society and physicians, and consequently, NPs often find themselves disrespected by doctors and their staff.
Why are Nurse Practitioners respected now more than ever before?
NPs are recognized for their abilities to treat patients and carry out medical procedures at a high level of expertise. The NP profession has been evolving since the 1960s, with the first nurse practitioner program established in 1965. Since then, there has been an increase in the number of individuals who decide to become nurse practitioners.
There has been a corresponding growth in the amount of respect that NPs receive from patients, other health care professionals, and the general public. Nurse practitioners are recognized for their abilities to treat patients and carry out medical procedures at a high level of expertise. The NP profession has continued to become more respected as the roles of NPs have expanded.
Today, nurse practitioners are utilized in primary care settings to treat patients for common colds and flu symptoms. Hospitals also utilize nurse practitioners to treat patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, and other cardiac conditions. Nurse Practitioners are respected because they have shown knowledge by passing graduate-level courses and furthering their education in a master’s degree program.
They are valued because they take responsibility for their care by using the nursing process to provide care. They also demonstrate respect for patients by understanding cultural differences, different family dynamics, and religious beliefs. Nurse practitioners are experts at treating common medical conditions, such as colds and flu symptoms, diabetes, congestive heart failure, and other cardiac conditions.
Respect is because nurse practitioners show concern for their patient’s emotional well-being and physical health. Nurse practitioners treat patients with dignity, autonomy, respect, and trustworthiness. The profession as a whole has received more respect as ‘patient satisfaction scores have been higher among those cared for by NPs than those receiving medical care.