Family Nurse Practitioners Are Key to Urgent Care Success

Premier Nursing News     July 2018

By Mary Walters, MSN, RN, CRNI, NEA-BC, vice president and chief nursing officer, Fidelity Health Care

The United States is currently facing a shortage of primary care physicians. According to a survey conducted for the Association of American Medicine Colleges (AAMC), our country will face a shortage of between 42,600 and 121,300 physicians by 2030. 

The evolving role of nurse practitioners as primary care providers could be the key solution for closing the access gap, and also help address physician shortages in some markets. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have completed graduate level work and sit for board certification. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the overall number of trained NPs is predicted to grow by 30 percent. The same report also indicated that 89 percent of NPs are trained in primary care, and more than 75 percent of those NPs tend to practice in the primary care setting. 

Within Premier Health Urgent Care, nurse practitioners work in collaboration with primary care physicians to increase access and provide convenient care to patients in numerous communities. With urgent care clinics located in highly traveled, retail, and densely populated residential locations, operating from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, Premier Health is providing convenient and affordable care. 

Premier Health has opened six urgent care clinics, with a seventh scheduled to open in July. Early volume results are showing a strong demand, and we believe this trend will only continue upward. Our urgent care clinics utilize board certified family nurse practitioners who provide primary care across the lifespan. In a typical day, urgent care staff see a variety of conditions in patients of all ages, from colds, the flu, and sinus infections, to sprains, strains, and rashes. We care for urgent health problems you would take to your primary care doctor.

If I must give one piece of advice for anyone interested in working within an urgent care location, it would be to get as much experience as you can! Urgent care clinics see every type of patient, so the more familiar you are, the better you will be. Nursing is an art and a science. Day-to-day in the urgent care, you must use critical thinking skills to diagnose and treat. The art of nursing comes from the caring nature in which we approach each of our patients.

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