What is the future for Nurse Practitioners in our health care system?

First of all, we do not have a “health care” system in this country; we have a “sick care” system and it’s a darn good one. Physicians have always been in charge of the sick care in this country, and they have done a great job. Because of their expert knowledge of diseases and their treatments, thousands of lives are saved every single day. Yet, in spite of the best efforts of these talented doctors, chronic diseases caused by our poor lifestyle habits have grown to epidemic proportions and are now spiraling out of control. Sick care will neither prevent disease nor help us become well – for that we need health care.

I believe NPs have the perfect skill set to meet the current and most pressing primary health care needs of the most Americans. I envision a new, true “healthcare” system, led by NPs, which complements the current “sick care” system that is led by doctors. Such a system would finally bring proper balance to medical care in this country.

We will always need the sick care doctors provide. But we all need to learn how to keep ourselves healthy before we get sick. That is the future I am working toward.

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