Physicians' and Nurse Practitioners' Functions | Free Essay Example

Physicians’ and Nurse Practitioners’ Functions

Words: 342
Topic: Health & Medicine

Background: Physicians and Nurses

In the environment of the contemporary nursing, the line between the domains to which the range of a registered nurse’s (RN’s) responsibilities belongs and those of a primary care physician (PCP) is often blurred. The propensity toward consistent information sharing and cross-disciplinary decision-making also contributes to the confusion to a considerable degree (Schober, 2016). As a result, the threat of nurses crossing the boundaries of their functions and transferring to the realm where physicians must make decisions becomes quite tangible, therefore, jeopardizing the well-being of patients and affecting physicians greatly. To address the issue, improved instructions for assigning nurses and physicians with their roles and responsibilities are required.

Primary Care Physicians and Their Role

Despite the fact that there is a range of similarities between the responsibilities of a PCP and an RN, including the need to provide a diagnosis for the patient’s condition, suggest the necessary treatment, and prescribe the appropriate medications, there are slight differences between the two. Particularly, it is the duty of a physician to engage in a consistent study of specific diseases, therefore, creating new opportunities for addressing them (Devlin, 2014).

Nurse Practitioners and Their Role

RNs, in turn, also provide basic services regarding diagnosing and treatment to their patients. However, RNs also focus extensively on patient education. Furthermore, it is their role to encourage active communication between a patient and a nurse. Therefore, RNs cannot be viewed as dependent on healthcare providers, yet they require support to deliver high-quality services (Schober, 2016).

Conclusion: In Search for the Solution

Despite the seeming similarity between the role of an RN and that one of a PCP, the targets thereof are different. Therefore, it is recommended to place a heavy emphasis on patient education and the enhancement of communication as the primary focus of an RN. A PCP, in turn, should be suggested to consider the further exploration of contemporary health issues. Additionally, the integrated practice should be viewed as a necessity. Thus, conflicts can be avoided, whereas chances for interdisciplinary communication will be created.


Devlin, A. S. (2014). Transforming the doctor’s office: Principles from evidence-based design. New York, NY: Routledge.

Schober, M. (2016). Introduction to advanced nursing practice: An international focus. New York, NY: Springer.