Letter: Using Nurses for Primary Care

To the Editor:

Your March 25 article “Nurses Push for Greater Autonomy” on state initiatives to allow nurse practitioners to provide primary care independent of physicians is timely. Our recent experience illustrates the benefits of such care.

We moved to Unity to retire in 2006 after decades of excellent care by physicians through employer-provided plans in other states. Maintaining this excellent care in New Hampshire was a concern, and we listened with interest as our neighbor shared her experience with a small group of nurse practitioners in New London who provided primary care.

We had our medical records transferred and made appointments. The initial interviews were more thorough than we had ever experienced, and the results entered directly into electronic records. The importance of advance directives was discussed as were questions of how we wanted to approach the shared responsibility of maintaining health and comfort as we age.

Our subsequent care has been equally thorough with regular physical exams, referrals to specialists and prescriptions as needed. As the United States moves slowly to join other developed countries to expand access to primary care, nurse practitioners can clearly pay an important role.

Joseph and Linda Warner



Nurses Push For Greater Autonomy

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Washington — For years, nurses have been subordinate to doctors — both in the exam room and the political arena. But aided by new allies ranging from AARP to social workers to health-policy experts, nursing groups are pressing ahead in a controversial bid to persuade state lawmakers to shift the balance of power. In 11 states, they are pushing legislation …