AUSTIN, Texas, July 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently announced the release of $15,000,000 for the operation of 10 nurse managed health clinics to support the education and training of nurse practitioners. Nurse managed health centers staffed by nurse practitioners provide comprehensive primary health care services to populations living in medically underserved communities. According to Professor Joanne Pohl, University of Michigan School of Nursing and nurse managed center consultant, "Nurse managed health centers provide high-quality, cost-effective primary care to vulnerable populations in many communities across the country. This funding will increase access to primary care as well as additional nurse practitioner training sites at a time when millions more will need access."
For nearly half a century, nurse practitioners have been providing high-quality care to patients of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. Multiple studies reinforce the quality of care provided by nurse practitioners and the patient satisfaction that accompanies it. According to Jeffrey Bauer, internationally recognized medical economist and health futurist, "the published literature unequivocally supports the proposition that quality of care will be maintained, and possibly enhanced, if health care reform promotes the use of nurse practitioners in their area of demonstrated clinical expertise."
Nurse practitioner educational programs prepare graduates to provide safe, high quality, coordinated and comprehensive clinical care that is grounded in evidence-based practice. It builds on the strong disciplinary foundations of the sciences as well as the art and science of nursing, which includes health promotion, disease prevention and the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic illness. Nurse practitioners use knowledge across disciplines to determine the current best evidence to provide quality primary care and specialty services to patients.
Based on a clinically strong professional nursing curriculum, the advanced preparation of nurse practitioners adds to the already present knowledge and skills of practicing professional nurses to create a highly effective health care provider. Prepared at the graduate level (Master's, postmasters and doctoral degrees) their programs of study prepare fully accountable clinicians to provide care to well individuals, patients with undifferentiated symptoms and those with acute, complex chronic and/or critical illnesses.
Nurse practitioners will make a significant contribution to meeting the current unmet primary health care needs in this country. For more information about nurse practitioners, you may go to the following websites:
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, www.aanp.org
American College of Nurse Practitioners, www.acnpweb.org
Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association, www.gapna.org
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, www.napnap.org
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health, www.npwh.org
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, http://nonpf.com/
SOURCE American Academy of Nurse Practitioners