Health Affairs, an academic journal that helps shape U.S. health policy debates, has published a “health policy brief” on the role of nurse practitioners in primary care.
In the article, Amanda Cassidy talks about the idea that states may move to address concerns about the supply of primary care providers by expanding the role of nurse practitioners.
Cassidy cites figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures indicating that state lawmakers had introduced 245 scope-of-practice bills as of February.
In August, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, D, signed a health cost control bill that will expand the role of physician assistants and nurse practitioners in the state.
Many drug stores now provide checkups, immunizations and other basic care through in-store clinics run by nurse practitioners.
Cassidy notes that nurses, patients and researchers who have studied the performance of nurse practitioners tend to support the idea of expanding the nurse practitioners’ role.