Nurse practitioner workforce: a substantial supply of primary care providers.Nurs Econ. 2012 Sep-Oct; 30(5):268-74, 294.NE
For about 5 decades, nurse practitioners (NPs) have been utilized to deliver primary care, traditionally in underserved areas or to vulnerable populations. However, over the years, this workforce has experienced a steady growth and has expanded its reach to provide primary care in diverse settings. An additional 32 million patients will have access to primary care with full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It is unlikely that the scarce supply of primary care physicians will be able to properly meet the demand and the health care needs of the nation. NPs face challenges but practice, policy, and research recommendations for better utilizing NPs in primary care can mediate the workforce shortages and meet the demand for care.