THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Nurse Practitioners (NP) may no longer be just taking care of your primary health care needs. Very soon, they could be patients’ first post to seek expert help in a critical condition, particularly in rural areas.
The Centre has mooted the novel idea of training Nurse Practitioners, similar to doctors, to provide cost effective, safe and quality-driven care to patients. Such a practice is already prevalent in UK, US, Netherlands and Australia.
The Health Ministry has called upon the stakeholders on the sector for feedback. The Ministry has also finalised the curriculum for a two-year post graduate residency programme for NPs.
“The NPs will be independent practitioners in select disciplines such as critical care, oncology and neurology,” they said.
The Ministry officials said rigorous educational preparation would enable NPs to diagnose and treat patients with critical illnesses, besides playing an active role in preventive activities. However, the Kerala Nursing Council officials said the NP system might not be a success in the state. “Most of the patients here will prefer only specialist doctors and would not rely upon NPs.”
Not just a Nurse
NPs will be given training in critical care / acute care, oncology, emergency care, neurology, cardiovascular care, and anaesthesia.
The Health Ministry has invited comments/feedback from stakeholders on NPs and the curriculum for them
Nurse Practitioners have been functioning in USA, UK, Australia, and Netherlands