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How A Nurse May Soon Be Your Doctor

by Marc Luber

Nurse at work

Nurse practitioners may soon be granted greater authority by our state governments, allowing them to work more like primary care physicians. This will open the doors to all kinds of opportunities for nursing careers. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have qualified through advanced training to assume some of the duties and responsibilities formerly assumed only by physicians.


Nurse Practitioner Careers

A key reason these changes in nurse practitioner authority may be coming is due to America’s shortage of primary care physicians (internal medicine physicians). This shortage will become even more pronounced over the next few years as millions of Americans start looking for doctors when they get health insurance as a result of the new health care legislation. That legislation has taken the need for primary care into account and set aside all kinds of funding for nurse-managed clinics.

Careers Out There guest Dr. Jeff Garland of suburban Chicago recently told us about this primary care shortage and explained that, as a result, internal medicine physician careers are in high demand. He also explained some of the current internal medicine job trends, which include concierge medicine (or boutique medicine), hospitalist physician careers and nurse practitioner careers. The American Medical Association is resisting the changes they see coming, and trying to stop state governments from granting nurse practitioners much of the same authority as primary care physicians.

This great article by the AP’s Carla Johnson explains in much greater detail how a nurse may soon be your doctor. For more Careers Out There information on healthcare careers and medical careers, be sure to click on those words.

Should nurses get to position themselves like primary care doctors? Would you be willing to see a nurse practitioner for your general medical care?

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Image courtesy of Bobster855