Turf War Smackdown: The AMA and MDs vs. DNPs
CHICAGO TRIBUNE -- The University of Michigan-Flint is launching an online doctoral program in nursing this fall. The university says the nurse practitioners it trains will be able to assess and manage medical and nursing problems in a variety of specialties and settings. It says the new degree program is a response to a looming shortage of nurses and doctors. The four-year Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is aimed at skills needed for advanced nursing practice in primary health care.
And what does the AMA think about the DNP alternative to a "looming shortage of nurses and doctors?"
Delegates at the recent annual meeting of the AMA left little room for doubt when it came to their views on the appropriate role of nurses in patients' medical care. Although nurses -- including those with a terminal degree in nursing -- are welcomed as part of the medical team, physicians still need to take the lead.
Despite strongly worded opposition from national nursing organization representatives who attended the meeting, the delegates adopted a resolution that called for new AMA policy stipulating that doctors of nursing practice, or DNPs, "must practice as part of a medical team under the supervision of a licensed physician who has final authority and responsibility for the patient." The delegates further directed the AMA to oppose a recent move by the National Board of Medical Examiners, or NBME, which earlier this spring announced it would develop and administer a certification exam for graduates of DNP programs.