Doctors, Nurse Practitioners at Odds over Bill

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The House bill would delete a regulation that the advanced-practices nurses enter into a collaborative agreement with a physician located within 15 miles. A hearing on the proposal was held Tuesday at the Capitol.

According to the Mississippi Nurses Association, there are 2,000 nurse practitioners who fill the void, particularly in rural areas like Issaquena and Sharkey counties, which have no physicians.

Dr. Tim Alford of Kosciusko, president of the Mississippi State Medical Association, says the current arrangement provides needed clinical oversight.

House Public Health Committee Chairman Steve Holland has urged the doctors and nurses to reach a compromise.


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  • by DNP student Location: MS on Mar 7, 2011 at 07:39 AM
    I ask the opposing physicians why is there a decline in the number of family physicians? NPs are filling these voids. NPs are not taking over specialty practices which constitutes the overwhelming number of medical physicians/students. NPs and Physicians complement each other not compete with each other. NPs are willing to provide care to the underserved...... where are the physicians going? To provide care in specialty areas where a NP would need to refer patients out to when it becomes out of their scope of practice. This does not need to be a turf battle; it is anything but! This is about coming together to provide every american citizen with proper and needed healthcare. No one entity can do this alone, we must work together to create viable solutions.
  • by Medical Field Location: MS on Jan 20, 2011 at 01:13 PM
    RC, why must people like you make such broad and ignorant statements? Incompetence and inflated egos are in ALL professions. As far as NPs are concerned, living in MS in especially rural areas, we are lucky to have NPs because of so few doctors. This will only increase and that is why there is such a demand for this type of care-giving. Most of these highly skilled (if not all) individuals do not presume to be doctors nor do they pretend to be. THey know there limitations and most rely on their doctors for the proper advice and guidance as needed.
  • by Patient Location: MS on Jan 20, 2011 at 12:01 AM
    Legislature needs to REGULATE nursing back a few notches for sure. Nurses have always thought they knew more than Doctors, and this is just another example of that mentality. Wanna BE a Doctor... go to Medical School and become one. You are a NURSE. Follow the rules and do YOUR job and let Doctors be the Doctor.
  • by ARNP Location: OKLAHOMA on Jan 19, 2011 at 07:02 PM
    I am an NP in Oklahoma where we do not need oversight for practice. I own my practice and do just fine. I have 2 master's degrees and working on DNP. The physicians in my area work with me to serve our community. we each deliver appropriate health care, just different. this is how it should be nationwide. NP's are trained to deliver primary care, acute care, and the rate of morbidity and mortality is actually better than physicians according to studies. even New England Journal of Medicine says let nurse practice to the full extent of their license. Hope this bill provides more patients access. Good luck!
  • by I Location: meridian on Jan 19, 2011 at 12:43 PM
    I am a registered nurse with a bachelor's degree. I have worked in OB/GYN, medical, surgical, recovery, ICU, and CCU. Never once hae I felt that I was smarter thatn a doctor let alone smarter than any other nurse. I feel that we are all trained in our specified areas to do the best that we can. I am currently in the nurse practitioner program and I am looking forward to being in a clinic with a physician that is well-trained but one who is also willing to teach. I dont feel that a law should pass allowing any practitioner to work alone because of the limitation of practice.
  • by A Registered Nurse Location: Meridian, MS on Jan 19, 2011 at 12:27 PM
    RC, apparently you do not fully understand the relationship between a MD and the FNP. There has always had to be oversight of the practice of the FNP. The difference with this bill is that the MD is now required to practice within the same small area as the FNP. For rural clinics that depend on the FNP to provide medical care to a very under-served populations, this is effectively going to kill the clinics. Many of them are indigent clinics or Medicaid clinics that do not receive much if any funding. Thanks to this bill, the clinic will be unable to sustain their business, leaving many without local health care.
  • by Jody Location: Union on Jan 19, 2011 at 11:55 AM
    RC I believe you are missing the point. These are nurse practitioners, not registered or licensed practical nurses. These people have spent many years in training as well. Albeit, their training is not as long as doctors, but they are medical professionals. To make a blanket statement that "Nurses have always thought they were smarter than doctors..", is both incorrect and irresponsible. There are many great nurses and doctors, but there are also many ineffective INDIVIDUALS from each group.
  • by Mary Ann Location: Meridian on Jan 19, 2011 at 10:36 AM
    I would like to clarify House Bill 605. Advanced practice nurses would still collaborate with a physician. The specific mileage of a physician would change.

    This would improve access to health care in many rural areas of Mississippi. The bill does give more autonomy to NPs in this regard.

    The bill is supported by AARP, because with the shortage of family practice physicians. NPs will care for an ever increasing aging population. Mississippi would join numerous other states that have already passed this legislation.
  • by RC Location: Meridian on Jan 19, 2011 at 08:26 AM
    Nurses have always thought they were smarter than doctors, but they didn't go to medical school no matter what they would have you believe. There is a reason a doctor spends the better part of their adult life in training to become a medical professional. Nurses are a valued part of the health care industry, but they do not have near the training a seasoned practitioner has. Doing away with oversight is just the beginning of what will become a storm a malpractice lawsuits. Of course, most politicians are lawyers and maybe this is why they are doing it.
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