Maapc header
Maapc avatar 256x256
Maryland Academy of Advanced Practice Clinicians

Maryland Nurse Practitioner Fact Sheet

Posted almost 9 years ago by Lacy Pitman

Maryland Nurse Practitioner Fact Sheet

 

Nurse Practitioners have been providing primary care in the U.S. for more than 40 years.

 

Professional Role

Nurse Practitioners are licensed independent practitioners who practice in ambulatory, acute and long term care as primary and/or specialty care providers.  According to their practice specialty they provide nursing and medical services to individuals, families and groups.  In addition to diagnosing and managing acute episodic and chronic illnesses, nurse practitioners emphasize health promotion and disease prevention.  Services include, but are not limited to, ordering, conducting, supervising and interpreting diagnostic and laboratory tests, and prescription of pharmacologic agents and non pharmacologic therapies. 

 

Nurse practitioners practice autonomously and collaboratively with health care professionals and other individuals to assess, diagnose, treat and manage the patient’s health problems and needs.

 

Education

Nurse Practitioners are graduates of master’s, post master’s, or doctoral NP programs, with advanced clinical preparation to provide primary, acute and chronic care to patients of all ages and walks of life.

 

Safe and Cost Effective

A large body of research has established that NP’s provide high quality, cost effective, comprehensive, personalized patient centered healthcare with excellent outcomes.

 

Proposed Legislation

Legislation will be proposed in 2010 to:

1)       Define nurse practitioner scope of practice in statute.  Scope of practice currently only exists in the regulations.  The scope of practice will NOT change in the proposed legislation.  Currently, all other health care professionals have their scopes of practice defined in statute.  NP’s are seeking to do the same.

2)       Eliminate the collaborative agreement.  NP’s, just like all other health care professionals, rely upon collaboration with other members of the health care team.  This collaboration does not need to be defined in writing.  The collaborative agreement costs employers, physicians and hospitals, and the Board of Nursing and the Board of Physicians an immeasurable amount in time and money.

3)       Eliminating the collaborative agreement will allow for more flexibility with employers to utilize NP’s where they are needed throughout organizations without a formal change in writing to be approved by both Boards.

4)       Change the statute to reflect NP oversight by the Board of Nursing only, and remove the Board of Physicians from oversight.

5)       There is a severe primary care shortage in Maryland.  As we lose primary care doctors, there are fewer doctors to sign collaborative agreements with NP’s in Maryland.  In 2009, 14 NP’s moved their practices into DC because they could not find collaborating physicians to sign agreements.

6)       There are currently about 810,000 uninsured Marylanders.  As they become eligible for services under the new health care reform, there will not be enough primary care providers to absorb this influx of new patients. 

 

As leaders in primary and acute health care, the 3300 NP’s in Maryland today are highly qualified to participate in the planning and implementation of health care reform programs and must be a vital part of the prescription for increasing access to high quality health care.