The statements of the author of the Kevin MD’s article is realistic as he cites the reduced number of physicians in the United States healthcare system and the negative impact it has on the system, for instance, decreasing the number of bedside nurses (Bernard, 2018). He indicates a situation where the American Association of Nurse Practitioners resorts to turning the nurse practitioners into doctors in a clandestine manner. The article discusses the origin of the problem stating that the idea of turning nurses into doctors appeared when the Institute of Medicine released a report in 2011 that called for changes in the U.S. nursing structure to promote “full partnership” with physicians and a plan to increase twice the number of nurses with doctorate degrees by 2020 (Bernard, 2018). The author is rational as he seeks to question why the nursing organization appears to downplay the differences between physicians and nurses, yet these are two different professions.
The article further reveals the sinister motive by the nursing organization, which could put the healthcare system at risk. The author exposes the unconventional manner in which the organization is furthering its agenda through the use of unacceptable means such as bribing the members of Congress to pass the laws in favor of nurses (Bernard, 2018). The author cites the American Association of Nurse Practitioner’s act of aggressive campaigns using the media such as television commercials rationalizing the unsupervised nursing practice in some states such as Pennsylvania where the scope of practice laws are under debate. The article states that the organization spent $5 million on lobbying and gave Congressional candidates $2.1 million (Bernard, 2018). The author is thus rational as he proves the use of unconventional means by the organizations to the benefit of nurses. However, it may compromise the quality of healthcare since if the organization was genuine in its move, it would not have employed dirty maneuvers. The rationality of the author lies in putting the AANP to task so that it can justify and explain its decision to make nurses physicians.
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Appropriateness of AANP’s Response
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners appears to have given a strong answer to the Kevin MD’s article. The article does not deny that the organization is turning nurses into doctors; instead, brings in some reasons for the action. The article mentions the unique skills that nurse practitioners bring into the healthcare sector such as the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses emphasizing on the health management and disease control. Thus, it is necessary to avoid restricting nurse practitioners into a carbon copy role of their physician counterparts (AANP, 2018). The idea here is that those practitioners who are able to play the roles of the physicians are qualified enough to be physicians. Secondly, the article states the shortage of physicians and the increased prevalence of chronic illnesses. Therefore, there is a need to increase patients’ access to healthcare and address the shortage of physicians by making qualified nurses able to play their roles. The article claims that some states require a collaborative agreement between a nurse practitioner and a physician for the former to offer direct services to patient; however, it does not promote collaboration between the two but only gives a financial benefit to the physician (AANP, 2018).
The article goes further to justify the development by stating that over 1.6 million Americans have chosen nurse practitioners as their direct healthcare providers thus indicating that they are impressed by the services the practitioners provide them (AANP, 2018). In response to the claim that the program is giving 100% acceptance to nurses joining the doctorate programs, the article makes it clear that the 100% acceptance applies to the master’s course (AANP, 2018). With such kind of response, the article has demystified the claims by the Kevin MD.
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The idea of turning nurse practitioners into physicians is noble as it seeks to serve the interests of patients by making them able to access quality healthcare. Currently, there are 234,000 nurse practitioners in the United States while the country faces a shortage of physicians (AANP 2017: AANP, 2018). In that situation, provided that the nurse practitioners are competent, there is no need to keep them under control of the physicians that are in shortage. According to the AANP (2018), the nurse practitioners have the ability to diagnose and treat ailments without a physician’s supervision. Thus, the idea of preventing them from practicing independently is a move by the American Medical Association to prioritize the financial benefits for their personnel while subordinating the interests of the patients.
There is an adequate proof that the nurse practitioners can work without the supervision and control of the physicians. According to AANP (2018), over 1.6 million Americans have chosen nurse practitioners as their primary care providers which is a clear indication that they are impressed by their services. In addition, AANP studies in the past 50 years indicate that the nurse practitioners provide safe and efficient services whose outcome match those of the physicians thus making it clear that a nurse practitioner can work independently the same way as the physician does (AANP, 2017). Under this argument, it is clear that if the individual nurse practitioner is well evaluated and found to be competent, then there is nothing wrong in allowing them to provide direct services to the patients as this is aimed at ensuring that the patients do not suffer from the shortage of physicians.