Few nurse practitioners, physician assistants pursue careers in pediatric health

October 18, 2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Pediatric health care work force planning efforts are increasingly incorporating the roles of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, especially in plans to alleviate the perceived shortage of pediatric subspecialists.

However, results from four new studies of pediatric nurse practitioners, family nurse practitioners, neonatal nurse practitioners, and pediatric physician assistants published online today in the journal Pediatrics do not seem to support that idea. The work was conducted by the University of Michigan's Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit, led by Gary Freed, M.D., M.P.H., chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and director of the CHEAR Unit.

"Although there are overall increases among those professionals, there has been no increase in the number of nurse practitioners and physician assistants going into pediatric health care," Freed says. "Newly trained professionals in those jobs will likely decrease going forward as more health care systems are designed to take care of the elderly population. Health systems need to re-think many of their future plans."

Study findings: "This is a wake-up call," Freed says. "No one bothered to check whether or not there are more nurse practitioners and physician assistants available to provide care to children. Health care planners are making assumptions about a workforce that may not exist to the extent of their projections."

"Children are becoming a smaller and smaller proportion of the U.S. population. We must ensure that as our society ages, we have a sufficient medical workforce at all levels to address health care needs."
-end-
Authors and references:

"Family Nurse Practitioners: Roles and Scope of Practice in the Care of Pediatric Patients," Gary L. Freed, MD, MPH, Kelly M. Dunham, MPP, Carol Loveland-Cherry, PhD, RN,d and Kristy K. Martyn, PhD, FNP-BC, CPNP-PC, all of the University of Michigan, and the Research Advisory Committee of the American Board of Pediatrics. www.pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2010-2157, doi:10.1542/peds.2010-2157

"Pediatric Physicians Assistants: Roles and Scope of Practice," Gary L. Freed, MD, MPH, Kelly M. Dunham, MPP, Marc J. Moote, MS, PA-C, Kara E. Lamarand, MPH, all of the University of Michigan and the American Board of Pediatrics Research Advisory Committee. www.pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2010-1586, doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1586

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners: Roles and Scope of Practice, Gary L. Freed, MD, MPH, Kelly M. Dunham, MPP, Kara E. Lamarand, MPH, Carol Loveland-Cherry, PhD, RN, Kristy K. Martyn, PhD, FNP-BC, CPNP-PC, all of the University of Michigan, and the American Board of Pediatrics Research Advisory Committee. www.pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2010-1589, doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1589

"Neonatal Nurse Practitioners: Roles and Scope of Practice," Gary L. Freed, MD, MPH, Kelly M. Dunham, MPP, Kara E. Lamarand, MPH, Carol Loveland-Cherry, PhD, RN, and Kristy K. Martyn, PhD, FNP-BC, CPNP-PC, all of the University of Michigan, the Research Advisory. www.pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2010-1596, doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1596

University of Michigan Health System

Related Children Articles from Brightsurf:

Black and Hispanic children in the US have more severe eczema than white children
A presentation at this year's virtual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting reveals the disparities that exist for Black and Hispanic children when it comes to Atopic Dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema.

Black children with cancer three times less likely to receive proton radiotherapy than White children
A retrospective analysis led by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital has found racial disparities in the use of the therapy for patients enrolled in trials.

The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health: First Europe-wide study of children confirms COVID-19 predominately causes mild disease in children and fatalities are very rare
Children with COVID-19 generally experience a mild disease and fatalities are very rare, according to a study of 582 patients from across Europe published today in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

Children not immune to coronavirus; new study from pandemic epicenter describes severe COVID-19 response in children
- While most children infected with the novel coronavirus have mild symptoms, a subset requires hospitalization and a small number require intensive care.

How many children is enough?
Most Russians would like to have two children: a boy and a girl.

Preterm children have similar temperament to children who were institutionally deprived
A child's temperament is affected by the early stages of their life.

Only-children more likely to be obese than children with siblings
Families with multiple children tend to make more healthy eating decisions than families with a single child.

Children living in countryside outperform children living in metropolitan area in motor skills
Residential density is related to children's motor skills, engagement in outdoor play and organised sports. that Finnish children living in the countryside spent more time outdoors and had better motor skills than their age peers in the metropolitan area.

Hispanic and black children more likely to miss school due to eczema than white children
In a study that highlights racial disparities in the everyday impact of eczema, new research shows Hispanic and black children are more likely than white children to miss school due to the chronic skin disease.

Children, their parents, and health professionals often underestimate children's higher weight status
More than half of parents underestimated their children's classification as overweight or obese -- children themselves and health professionals also share this misperception, according to new research being presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, UK (April 28-May 1).

Read More: Children News and Children Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.