Winthrop-University Hospital is holding a mini-med school adult education program...

Winthrop-University Hospital is holding a mini-med school adult education program consisting of five classes on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning next week. Each class centers on parts of the body and how they work. Credit: Bloomberg News

In response to the recent Washington Post article titled "Nurse practitioners seek to expand medical role" [News, May 14], the Nurse Practitioner Association New York State seeks to clarify an unfortunate misstatement in this important story. The goal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners' upcoming legislative campaign is not, as reported, to "pass bills that will expand the range of medical procedures their membership can perform."

Rather, the effort will work to remove outdated legislative and regulatory language that prevents nurse practitioners from practicing at the top of their education and ability. Currently, in just 18 states and the District of Columbia, patients have access to quality nurse practitioner care without artificial barriers.

We also take exception to the misinformed characterization that our association's campaign is designed to "exploit" a potential shortage in general practice physicians.

Our efforts are intended to educate and inform our stakeholders that the combination of nursing experience and advanced study makes nurse practitioners uniquely qualified to provide high quality, nurturing and individualized care. In New York, there are more than 16,000 licensed nurse practitioners.

Seth Gordon, Clifton Park

Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Nurse Practitioner Association New York State.
 

Under current New York law, nurse practitioners are independent practitioners but are required to have a formal collaboration agreement with a licensed physician. Legislation sponsored by Assemb. Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) and Sen. Catharine Young (R-Olean) would allow us to practice without this mandatory collaboration.

The proposed legislation is not an expansion of our scope of practice. We will continue to collaborate with physicians and other medical professionals even if the law no longer mandates that agreement. Understand that nurse practitioners, as well as physicians and other medical professionals, depend on collaboration to care for patients. It's how we do our jobs.

Diane Santangelo, Stony Brook

Editor's note: The writer is a nurse practitioner.