I was scrolling down one of my fav blogs, kevinmd.com, today and saw an interesting article by Dr. George Lundberg. Dr. Lundberg discussed the notion of saving primary care in the U.S. by allowing RNs to increase their scope of practice. He framed the notion of these “Noctors” as something radical. I was shocked.
A little personal history is in order I guess. My mom was an RN. Not a college degree toting RN like many that are about today but a good old fashioned diploma nurse. She saw her way through the second world war serving on a hospital ship. During her career she was an OR nurse, an ICU nurse, a CCU nurse, a nursing supervisor at an IMD and a night supervisor at a major hospital in SF.
Growing up I got more than a fair picture of how much she respected physicians and how much she understood that they were just human beings not the Master of the Universe that society, particularly U.S. society would have us believe. Doctors may get the fancy training but nurses do the work of medicine in the U.S. and most everywhere else I suspect. I’ve heard more than one physician say that 85% of medicine is quite routine. I believe it. I also believe that nurses would make a great addition to the primary care team as full participants.
So that was why I was shocked. The notion that it is somehow a novel idea that nurses might be able to help out is just ludicrious. They already are. Read the full story here. Its educational.