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Nurse Practitioners

July 04, 1993

* I would like to commend Sara Fritz on her article (June 28) regarding the role of the nurse practitioner (NP) in health care reform. As a clinical instructor at UCLA School of Nursing in the master's nurse practitioners program, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand the valuable contribution our nurse practitioners have made in the health care arena. Studies have repeatedly suggested that nurse practitioners are cost-effective, have improved access to care and improved quality of care in many settings.

It is true that NPs have been extremely effective in the inner cities and rural areas; however, I would like to add one additional setting that was not mentioned in the article, and that is the nursing home setting. Nursing home patients have often suffered from neglect due to lack of interest by the medical community. Fortunately this is changing as many forward-thinking HMOs and hospitals are now employing NPs for the care of their elderly patients in nursing homes.

SUE MENDELSOHN

UCLA School of Nursing

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