Nurse Practitioner's Care Equal to Doc's, Review Finds

MedPage Today:

...In fact, states struggling to meet the growing demand for primary care services should expand scope-of-practice laws for NPs and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), the National Governors Association said in its review of the issue.

The group looked at 22 articles, including 10 published since a 2008 review by the Colorado Healthcare Institute, which the current study sought to expand upon.

"Most studies showed that NP-provided care is comparable to physician-provided care on several process and outcome measures," the report, The Role of Nurse Practitioners in Meeting Increasing Demand for Primary Care, released late last week, stated. "Moreover, the studies suggest that NPs may provide improved access to care."

Specifically, the review found:

NPs provided care that compared with that of physicians in terms of patient satisfaction, time spent with patients, prescribing accuracy, and preventive education NPs were capable of successfully managing chronic conditions in patients suffering from hypertension, diabetes, and obesity Three analyses found NPs rated favorably in achieving patients' compliance with recommendations and reductions in blood pressure and blood sugar A 2003 review found NPs were more likely to work in underserved urban populations and rural areas

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