Friday, May 11, 2012

Nurse practitioners tackling more 'doctor' tasks - Bellingham Herald

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Bellingham Herald - By SCOTT TRAVIS — Sun Sentinel

“Many of your health care needs may soon be handled by a “doctor” who has actually been trained as a nurse.”

Advanced registered nurse practitioners are increasingly performing duties once reserved for physicians, including diagnosing illnesses and prescribing medicine. It’s a trend that’s likely to continue as states grapple with escalating health care costs and a shortage of primary care physicians.

And they’ll be better trained, because of higher standards for nursing school accreditation that could go into effect as soon as 2015. Around the country, schools have been adding “doctor of nursing practice” programs, which they expect will soon become the standard degree for practitioners. They won’t be physicians, but you can call them doctor.

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