There are currently 21 states in which advanced practice registered nurses have the authority to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications for patients without the supervision of a physician. Michigan’s APRNs are striving to become a part of this community of trusted caregivers, but they are being met with resistance from some physicians.
MaryLee Pakieser, a registered nurse for over four decades and nurse practitioner for two decades, sheds light on this struggle. She becomes keenly aware of the unnecessary delays every time one of her patients needs a prescription renewed. Even though Pakieser is knowledgeable of the medication and the patient, she is still ultimately dependent on a physician when it comes to writing or renewing prescriptions.
Pakieser and many other APRN are becoming increasingly upset about the needless time that is wasted when the pharmacy must call the physician instead of her.
However, many doctors are wary when it comes to sharing prescriptive authority with advanced practice nurses. Some physicians are worried about the safety of the patients and worry that an APRN may misdiagnoses something or prescribes the wrong type of medication. Physicians undergo a minimum of 11 years of schooling and training, while Advanced Practice Nurses are only required to have a master’s degree. Because of this disparity in education and hands on experience, the Michigan State Medical Society believes that the risk is too great.