Carol J. Anderson: Explains standards for nurse practitioners

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Thursday, January 04, 2018
Explains standards for nurse practitioners

As an experienced nurse practitioner in the Valley for over 30 years, I am moved to write regarding Kaitlin Milliken’s article in the Gazette regarding the legislation sponsored by state Sen. James Welch, D-Springfield, (“Senate health bill sparks debate over role of nurse practitioners,” Dec. 29).

Although the article in total gave a somewhat balanced view, the first three paragraphs presented a negative, sensationalist account. Given the short attention span of most readers, I felt that many would be concerned about our qualifications.

The Massachusetts Medical Society’s Dr. Henry L. Dorkin made references to the training, need for continuing education and licensure requirements for physicians that would not apply to advanced practice nurses.

The writer apparently did not check with the Massachusetts Board of Nursing to investigate what standards are necessary to become an advanced practice nurse. Had she done so, she would have learned and could have educated her readers that we also have standards, continuing medical education requirements and licensure oversight to practice as nurse practitioners.

NPs and our colleagues, physician assistants, have provided quality care to patients for decades. We work in collaborative relationships with physicians and will continue to do so.

Carol J. Anderson