Increased Reliance on Nurse Practitioners in Postacute and Long-Term Care
February 24, 2017 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance
Physicians are teaming up with nurse practitioners (NPs) to provide more care and expand their reach within the postacute and long-term care settings, as recently reported in the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine's journal, Caring for the Ages. According to the article, every year 20,000 nurse practitioners holding advanced nursing degrees enter the field, which includes more than 222,000 licensed NPs, but less than a quarter are certified to work in postacute and long-term care. Although physicians must conduct admission exams for new postacute admissions in nursing homes, nurse practitioners may gather medical histories, conduct initial physical exams, and make additional visits for new long-term care admissions. In one study, physicians noted that NPs make urgent care and regulatory 30- and 60-day visits, provide preventive and wound care, and see hospice patients. Physicians also reported that NP-provided services were associated with satisfaction on the part of residents, their families, and physicians.