WALDORF, Md., March 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The state of Maryland is entrenched in a major health care crisis. The state has over 810,000 uninsured people and it is well documented that rural and inner city areas have little or no access to healthcare. Those who live in the larger Maryland cities don't have it much better, with the federal government declaring Baltimore a designated primary care shortage area.
There are over 3,400 answers to the primary care shortage in Maryland – the 3,400 highly qualified and skilled Nurse Practitioners (NPs) who live and practice in the state. For 45 years, NPs have been providing primary, acute and chronic care to patients of all ages and walks of life. And now there is a bill before the Maryland General Assembly that will improve access to the quality care provided by NPs, thus improving healthcare access to all Marylanders. The bill will eliminate the laborious language in the current collaborative agreement now in place and allow Nurse Practitioners and Physicians to collaborate as team members. There is bipartisan support for HB 319/SB 484 from the Governor, the Board of Nursing and the Maryland Hospital Association, we well as countless others.
"Without this important legislation, many practices run and staffed by NPs in Southern Maryland, the Eastern Shore and downtown areas of our larger cities will close their doors and those people most in need of affordable health care will be abandoned," explained Elaine Crain, CRNP, Legislative Vice-Chair of the Maryland Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, (www.mcnponline.org). "Many Physicians in Maryland have Nurse Practitioners working in their practices. These doctors may also have to close their doors if their Nurse Practitioners are unable to continue to provide the high level of care that most Marylanders have come to rely on."
"The NPs of Maryland are asking that you please contact your local elected officials and ask them to support HB 319 / SB 484: Nurse Practitioners - Certification Requirement & the Authority to Practice," said Crain.
Since the inception of the role 45 years ago, NPs have provided high quality, comprehensive, personalized, patient-centered healthcare with excellent outcomes. NPs also place a strong emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. They are skilled clinicians who include teaching and counseling individuals, families and communities as a major part of their practice. They are your partners in health.
SOURCE American Academy of Nurse Practitioners