Nurses slam AMA for stance against independent practice for nonphysicians
- The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) slammed a resolution adopted by the American Medical Association (AMA) that opposes independent practice for nonphysician practitioners.
- In an ongoing feud between nurses and doctors, the AANP accused the AMA of “fear mongering” and putting physicians’ profits ahead of patients.
- Resolution 214 calls for a national strategy to oppose legislative efforts that allow nonphysician practitioners to practice independent of a physician. It was adopted at last week’s interim meeting of the AMA House of Delegates.
AMA opposes what it calls "inappropriate scope of practice expansion," while the nurses group says care from nurse practitioners is safe and typically more efficient than care from physicians.
“The American Medical Association has asserted, once again, its commitment to put the profit of its physician membership ahead of patients and their access to high-quality health care,” AANP President Joyce Knestrick said in a statement.
“We call on the AMA to stop hampering access to care,” she continued. “Stop the rhetoric and resolutions that undermine patient choice, access and true coordinated care. The AMA’s ongoing fear mongering and physician protectionist resolutions are hurting patients and negatively impacting the health of our nation.”
The AMA resolution targets advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) and the APRN Multistate Compact, which would let APRNs with a multistate license practice without a doctor’s oversight or involvement. To date, three states — North Dakota, Idaho and Wyoming — have enacted the compact. At least 10 states must enact legislation before it will be implemented.
AAPN represents more than 234,000 nurse practitioners in the U.S. At a time when many communities are facing physician shortages, particularly in underserved areas, APRNs could increase access to care.
Exacerbating the shortage is administrative “burnout” and the retirement of baby boomer physicians, as well as policies of President Donald Trump’s administration that could threaten the supply of foreign-born doctors. For instance, Trump’s travel ban created confusion and anxiety in medical residency programs as visa seekers were put through more intensive vetting. Likewise, his threat to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program could exacerbate the physician shortage if potential medical students are forced to leave the country.