High-skilled nurses benefit health system

In your editorial "Good Medicine" (March 12) you explained why advanced practice nurses (APRNs) should be allowed the right to practice independently. Although physicians have not supported the APRNs in their quest for independence, the shortage of primary care physicians and the fact that the shortage forces many patients to seek care in emergency rooms should make it clear that there are not enough primary care doctors to handle the need.

The Washington Post on March 31 published a story, "A growing number of primary-care doctors experiencing burnout. How does this affect patients?", in which it pointed out that because they are rushed, primary care doctors often don't have enough time to listen to patients and some worry about not having enough time to give good care.

Sore throats, the flu, monitoring blood pressure and school and employment physicals are just a few of the many areas where APRNs can contribute, making primary care doctors' work schedules manageable, so that they have more time to talk to patients and improve care.

Clearly, APRNs have great potential to make the primary care system more effective and accessible.

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