[Regarding “Minnesota Becomes 19th State to Allow Nurse Practitioners Full Scope of Authority to Prescribe,” published online Dec. 17, 2014,] physicians need to wake up and begin to lobby against the repeated intrusions into our scope of practice. There is a reason nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are mid-level providers—they lack the education and training of physicians! Does it make sense to anyone that clinicians with less education and training should have the same prescribing authority as physicians?
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 34 – No 03 – March 2015
I started my health care career as a paramedic, then went on to nursing, and now it seems as an emergency physician I could have just bided my time, and eventually at this pace NPs will have the same authority I do. I’ve already seen them introduce themselves as doctors now that many NP programs have gone to doctorate-level degrees.
Many states, including Alabama where I practice, have allowed NPs to place CVLs [central venous lines] and art-lines. I’m very opposed to this and have written to the medical board speaking out against it. Physician leaders are asleep at the wheel on this topic.
It reminds me of how physicians allowed themselves to become just another “cog” in the health care wheel in the early ’80s. Physicians were at the top of the health care corporate structure, often then president or chairman of the hospital, then one day we decided that management should be turned over to HCAs. Now look where we are, hoping our reimbursements aren’t reduced or tied to performance, accepting policies governing our practice instead of dictating them.
This is another issue where mid-levels will continue to take more and more rope. Wake up!
—Michael Menowsky, MD, RN, BSN Birmingham, Alabama