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Baltimore Sun: "Nurse practitioner takes place of ICU doctor"

July 27, 2003 -- An article by Luciana Lopez in today's Baltimore Sun reports that Harford Memorial Hospital has begun using a nurse practitioner for some ICU shifts after being unable to fill a position it had advertised for an intensivist (critical care physician), "a move that industry experts said won't necessarily reduce the quality of care." The hospital stressed that it had chosen this particular NP because it was familiar with his work, and that an intensivist would remain on call during the NP's shifts. The story noted that physicians at Harford Memorial had "accepted" the change, though it also reported that the medical director of two ICU's at nearby St. Joseph's Medical Center had "some reservations about nurse practitioners," citing the "totally different experience" physicians have. In fact, studies of the comparative effects of this "different experience" in other health care fields have found the care provided by NP's to be as good as or better than that provided by physicians.

See the article by Luciana Lopez in the Baltimore Sun: Nurse practitioner takes place of ICU doctor: Harford Memorial move affects many evening shifts.