Nurses seeking more health care authority, patients "don't see a big difference"

From USA Today:

Each year, Wendy Fletcher says, she and two partners see more than 5,000 patients at their practice in Morehead, Ky. They are not doctors, but rather registered nurse practitioners who say they are able to increase access to health care and make it more affordable.

"None of us are trying to play doctor," she said.

Nurse practitioners are "gaining traction because people are seeing how cost-effective they are," Patton said. "The primary care physician shortage is going to drive it."

Judi James, 56, who lives in Morehead, Ky., said she gets her basic medical care from a nurse practitioner and has no qualms about going to see a nurse rather than a doctor.

"I really just don't see a big difference," James said. "The nurses are the ones who take care of you anyway, not always the doctor. If I need a specialist, she'll send me there."

Is this the beginning of the end of the primary care doctors in the U.S.?

Comments from Google Buzz:

Vamsi Balakrishnan - Then...what's the difference of a nurse from a PA?

Aidan Finley - There's no real difference between a NP and a PCP for routine patient care.

From Twitter: @CarmenBPhillips: at ped's office, my kids most often seen by NP.

Image source:, public domain.

1 comment:

  1. Really? No big difference? Who are those people?... :)