Newswise — (NEW YORK, NY, January 27, 2014) – Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of Columbia University School of Nursing, applauds the effort by the Veterans Health Administration to let nurses with advanced education practice medicine without direct supervision by physicians. The VHA, the largest health care system in the U.S., is weighing new guidelines that would let nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and clinical-nurse specialists practice independently. “This is really a win for patients,” says Berkowitz. “At a time when there is a worsening shortage of providers in primary care and in many specialties, advanced practice nurses can help offer patients timely access to quality care. Nurse practitioners absolutely have the education and experience necessary to work without the direct supervision of a physician and to lead teams of health care professionals in providing coordinated care.”
The proposed policy shift at the VHA system follows recommendations from the Institute of Medicine’s “Future of Nursing” report, which advocates that nurses practice to the full scope of their education.
-30-Columbia University School of Nursing is part of the Columbia University Medical Center, which also includes the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, and the College of Dental Medicine. With close to 100 full-time faculty and 600 students, the School of Nursing is dedicated to educating the next generation of nurse leaders in education, research, and clinical care. The School has pioneered advanced practice nursing curricula and continues to define the role of nursing and nursing research through its PhD program which prepares nurse scientists, and its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), the first clinical practice doctorate in the nation. Among the clinical practice areas shaped by the School’s research are the reduction of infectious disease and the use of health care informatics to improve health and health care. For more information, please visit: www.nursing.columbia.edu.