Utilization of Nurse Practitioners
Approximately 158,348 nurse practitioners are credentialed as NPs in the United States, which is progressively increasing (National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, 2010). Over the years nurse practitioners have become the ideal primary care providers in many clinical settings. Chronic conditions are gradually dominating acute conditions in the world and nurse practitioners have become the model healthcare providers to care for these conditions. As physicians face challenges with caring for patients in a timely manner, teaching, and completing their research and administrative duties nurse practitioners have come to be the seamless solution to assist in patient care (Riportella-Muller, Libby, & Kindig, 1995). This paper reviews the history, education, examination of the clinical role, challenges, and cost analysis of nurse practitioners. History
As early as the 1930s physicians started to team up and seek the assistance of nurses to aid in the care of patients. Numerous dynamics created a need for nurses including physicians electing to specialize in various fields of medicine, the many patients with chronic diseases, and the need for health care in poor communities and uninsured (Bodenheimer & Pham, 2010). With challenges of the identified factors many people were seeking medical care, but there were not enough physicians to meet the demand. In 1965, the first nurse practitioner training program was created by Henry Silver, a physician, and Loretta Ford, a nurse, at the University of Colorado (Landau, 2011). The program concentrated on the prevention of diseases and the promotion of health. The first years for nurse practitioners were tough because physicians and other healthcare providers were not blissful on accommodating the role. The opponents felt that nurse practitioners were ambiguous due to the fact that there was a lack of formal training and certification....