Nursing

Dispelling myths about nurse practitioners

Nurse Leader Insider, June 23, 2016

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A new study dispels one of the big myths used against nurse practitioners (NP) and physician’s assistants. Physicians have said that one of the big knocks against using advanced-practice clinicians was that they weren’t as confident about what they were doing, so they would be more likely to order unnecessary tests that cost providers and patients more money.

UCLA and Harvard Medical School analyzed the cases of NPs and PAs, and found that about 3% of them ordered potentially unnecessary CT scans and MRIs. Compared to the 6% of office-based physicians, NPs and PAs are actually less likely to recommend wasteful tests than physicians.

The study also suggests that NPs and PAs can be just as effective as primary care doctors. Advanced-practice clinicians can provide physicals, checkups, and referrals with the same quality of care, and because they are more cost effective, even more patients will have access to basic healthcare benefits.
 



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