AARP re-affirms support for NPs after strong NP advocacy
In March 2019, the AARP Bulletin ran a piece with advice from a variety of “pros.” The piece relied on several physicians, but no nurses. It also disrespected nurse practitioners. NP Daniel Geller objected. AARP removed the original piece and posted a message of support for NP practice in its May 2019 edition.
March 2019 – This month the widely distributed AARP Bulletin ran a piece titled “What They Know That You Don’t” that ignored nurses as experts and relied on a physician opinion that disrespected NPs. Daniel Geller wrote to AARP to protest, and his letter is below, followed by AARP’s response. As he explains, contrary to the view apparently expressed in the AARP piece, studies show nurse practitioner care is at least as good as that of physicians. AARP later removed the article (right) from online.
To the Editors:
I read with interest your March 2019 AARP Bulletin article “What They Know that You Don’t: Insider Secrets of Doctors, Money Managers, Retailers and 11 Other Pros”. Three physicians and a chiropractor were interviewed for this article and not a single nurse. Worse, the urgent care doctor implied that patients receive inferior care at urgent care clinics staffed by nurse practitioners where studies, including one from George Washington University, show nurse practitioners can provide equivalent care and better health education (1).
Nearly 3 million registered nurses make up the largest number of healthcare professionals in our nation (2). While only 14.5% of physicians are entering a primary care residency, 87% of nurse practitioners are being prepared in primary care programs (3).
Nurses touch all our lives, providing direct patient care from our first moments to our last breaths. Nurses are increasingly being called upon to provide solutions to our ongoing health care crisis. I hope that in the future AARP Magazine will expand their expert opinions to include one of the most critically important professions upon which our nation depends.
Daniel Geller, Nurse Practitioner
“Editor’s Note An expert’s comment in our March story, “What They Know That You Don’t” regarding nurse practitioners conflicts with AARP’s stance. AARP believes, based on years of evidence, that nurse practitioners provide high-quality primary care to consumers. AARP is working to modernize state laws so that nurse practitioners and other advanced-practice nurses can practice to the full extent of their training. To date, 24 states have modernized their scope-of-practice laws. AARP believes these changes improve access to health care and give more choices to consumers.”
Citations for Daniel Geller’s letter
(1) Kurtzman, E.T., & Barnow, B.S. (2017). A comparison of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and primary care physicians’ patterns of practice and quality of care in health centers. Medical Care, 55(6). doi:10.1097/MLR.0000000000000689
(2) Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2018). Occupational employment statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm
(3) American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2017). Nurse practitioners. Retrieved from: https://www.aanp.org/images/about-nps/npgraphic.pdf