Mid-Level Providers – It’s Time to Rethink this Common Name for Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners
Healthcare is a very delicate sector in all countries. A good healthcare system guarantees that citizens are well covered against diseases and any accidents. It is a rapidly changing field. There are many improvements and new aspects added to it every now and again. Advanced practice professionals have become very important assets in this field and due to the realization of their exceptional skills; more companies have increased the utilization of the advanced practice professionals.
An advanced practice nurse is a registered nurse who has received more advanced education, knowledge, skills and scope of practice, as compared to basic nurse education. They are certified by a national professional organization in a nursing specialty or alternatively they have met the requirements or criteria that are set by a board of nursing. There are specific requirements on the level of training, experience and training that they must attain.
An advanced practice nurse can be a clinical nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife and clinical nurse specialist. They are suited in different fields. Some of the fields that they can work in include family practice, urgent care, cardiology, emergency medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, urgent care, oncology and cardiology.
The advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) is a level of nursing whose candidates utilize more experience, skills and knowledge. They are very qualified and good at planning, diagnosis, implementation and evaluation. They may work in a specialist or general capacity. They are also capable of problem solving, dealing with patients and can make decisions.
Healthcare facilities are benefiting a lot from the utilization of advanced practice practitioners. They are very helpful in guaranteeing and improving patient care. There demand has increased and that is why there are numerous job openings for them. It is not uncommon to see a job vacancy for a nurse practitioner, physician assistant and nurse midwives, in various departments in the healthcare systems. They have made a big contribution in medicine and that is why a hospital or health facility cannot afford to operate without them.
An employer can get in touch with a body that specializes in recruiting the professionals and staffing. The firms recruit, qualify and retain the highly skilled and qualified professionals. A healthcare facility can give them a list of requirements, and it can be assured of getting potential employees who meet their expectations. The candidates are very determined and ready to help the company to attain its goals.
‘It’s time to bury the hatchet” and improve the relationships between Physician Assistants (PAs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs)
Now, in our uncharted era of health care reform, is the time to bridge the gap and bury the hatchet of distrust and superiority between PAs and NPs. Now is the time to turn our collective attention to a unified advanced practice care model that highlights the strengths, training and uniqueness of each profession.
PAs have traditionally had a home in medicine through their medical training approach, but realistically have never been fully accepted within the confines of academic medicine; NPs have historically found refuge in their Nursing background, but in certain arenas have found themselves cast out. Over the past 40 years, the two professions have emerged out of virtual obscurity to now become the number 2 (PA) and number 4 (NP) top jobs in the United States and yet, that prestige notwithstanding, you can easily palpate a recalcitrant perception of competition, distrust, provisional superiority and individual grandstanding between both professions, despite having more in common than not.
One central point in the ongoing and soon to be historically changing health care reform is the use and training of PAs and NPs. The references to these disciplines in the Affordable Care Act are vast and imply recognition of the contributions of these professionals to the herculean task of providing health care coverage to every American. It is time for the leadership of both disciplines, both at the organizational and the academic level, to unite common resources, establish common practices and standardize common policies that will maintain viability and marketability of each profession. PA and NP leaders should take the bold step of developing and harmonizing a common nomenclature, common practice models, and centralize education and academic training model. The unification between PAs and NPs should be geared towards highlighting the strengths’ of both professions and eliminating competition and professional backlashing. PA and NP educational leaders should collaborate on education and training programs, share and align common resources in an attempt to expand curriculum development, increase clinical site rotations and foster academic growth.
PAs and NPs have to take each unique professional strength and capitalize on them to promote economic and academic growth. For example, NP's have a strong emphasis on chronic disease management while PA's have excellent surgical skills, these attributes could easily be shared and mitigated in academic development of each profession to where each discipline gets the best of both worlds in their training. If the two professions can co develop curricular that capitalize on their strengths, a stronger profession of health care delivery can be formulated and initiated.
Traditions are extremely hard to break and this suggestion is tantamount to heresy in some professional circles, but no great change in society has come without criticism. I'm willing to be the greater fool to suggest such radical thinking with the hope that some visionary impression supersedes our present beliefs and lays a foundation for our future.