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Interdisciplinary Workforce Legislation

Academic Medicine
July 28, 2014

This month 42 American doctors and nurses will begin year long assignments on faculties of African medical and nursing schools as a part of the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP).
The program is a collaboration between the US Peace Corps, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and Seed Global Health. Vanessa Kerry and I discuss the past and the future of the program in an article in Academic Medicine entitled “The Global Health Service Partnership: Teaching for the World.

The program represents an ambitious commitment by the Peace Corps which hosts the GHSP, PEPFAR which funds it, and Seed Global Health which provides technical assistance to the Peace Corps and raises funds for loan repayment for program participants. The arrival of these 42 clinician-teachers at their medical and nursing schools in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda marks the start of the second year of the program. The inaugural group of 31 had extraordinary experiences as teachers, mentors, faculty colleagues and contributors to institution building. Representative experiences are recorded in this video of photos from volunteers working in each of the three countries.  This year’s teacher clinicians will work at 13 sites in the 3 countries. Among the 42 are 23 nurses, 19 physicians, 7 couples, 8 Returned Peace Corps volunteers, the program’s first osteopathic physicians and 3 GHSP volunteers from 2013-2014 who are extending for another year. These volunteers range from 27 to 68 years old and represent 15 specialty areas of nursing and medicine.  Twelve come from the Midwest, 10 from the Northeast, 9 from the West, 8 from the South and 3 from the Mid-Atlantic.

The link between social mission in medicine and nursing, medical/nursing education, and global health is palpable in this program. Many US physicians and nurses who have worked in community based settings and public health are drawn to global health and teaching. Teaching, in fact, distinguishes the Global Health Service Partnership from many other service programs in low resource countries. The program is founded on the premise that teaching is the most powerful form of health development work because it contributes to building a stronger platform for health delivery in the country. It is the intent of the program to grow overtime, expanding the numbers of countries and the types of other health professionals involved. The recruitment process has now begun for the 3rd year of the program, which started on July 1, 2014 (click here to apply).  Applications close on December 5, 2014. On August 5, 2014 there will be an informational GHSP Google+ Hangout at 12 pm EST online with GHSP volunteers speaking about their experiences from the field. Click here to sign up today. For any questions, please visit or

The Pew Charitable Trust
February 12, 2014

Expanding the Dental Team looks at two private dental practices that employ dental therapists to increase access to dental care for underserved populations. It is the first report examining early cost impacts of a dental therapist on a private practice in the United States and how this type of provider functions in that environment on a daily basis.

Kaiser Health News
February 11, 2014

This article examines the how pharmacists are taking on more clinical roles, as well as a new California law that designates pharmacists as health care providers and allows them to give routine vaccinations and provide some travel and birth-control medications.

American Journal of Nursing
February, 2014


The American Journal of Nursing recently published the article “Original Research: Perceptions of Employment-Based Discrimination among Newly Arrived Foreign-Educated Nurses” by Pittman, Davis, Shaffer, Herrera and Bennett. This article examined whether foreign-educated nurses believed they were treated equitably in the US workplace from 2003 to 2007. The researchers found that 51% of respondents reported receiving insufficient orientation and 40% reported at least one discriminatory practice with regard to wages, benefits, or shift or unit assignments. Those educated in low-income countries and those recruited by staffing agencies were more likely to report inequitable treatment compared to their U.S. counterparts. How can policy makers ensure that foreign-educated nurses are treated fairly? Send us your thoughts to be added to our blog!

February 6, 2014

On Thursday, February 13thThe George Washington University’s Center for Health Workforce Research & Policy will host the panel discussion "Patient Navigation Role Delineation.” The panel discussion will feature Anne Willis, Director of the Division of Cancer Survivorship at the George Washington University Cancer Institute. This presentation will review a collaborative effort to support the patient navigation workforce by identifying the unique role that non-clinically licensed patient navigators play in the healthcare system, establishing and validating core competencies and developing competency-based training. This event is free and will be held at 2021 K Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20037. Please RSVP to Emily Bass at to attend. See you there!

Hays Post
January 27, 2014

Currently under Kansas law, advanced practice registered nurses (or APRNs) must work under a “collaborative practice agreement” with a supervising doctor before providing health care services within the nurse’s certified level of training. A proposal expected to soon be before legislators would free APRNs from that requirement and allow them to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications for their patients without an agreement with a physician.

January 10, 2014

Florida State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda is pushing for changes to make sure all Floridians have access to quality healthcare in Florida by expanding nurse practitioners responsibility. Florida currently has some of the tightest restrictions on nurse practitioners in the country.

November, 2013

In November the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released the report Projecting the Supply and Demand for Primary Care Practitioners Through 2020, which examines the future supply and demand of primary care practitioners. The report finds that due to population growth and aging there will be a shortage of 20,400 primary care physicians by 2020. The report also concludes that the increasing utilization of physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) is likely to mitigate this projected need for primary care physicians. 

New York Times
December 4, 2013

On December 4thScott Gottlieb and Ezekiel Emanuel published the op-ed “No, There Won’t Be a Doctor Shortage” in the New York Times. Gottlieb and Emanuel argue that it is unlikely that the United States will face a physician shortage. The authors contend that physician workforce projections do not account for the continuously changing health care environment which emphasizes efficiency, the increasing utilization of and improvements in technology, the expanding roles of PAs, NPs and other health care providers, and lessons learned from Massachusetts’ health care reform efforts, which did not result in a physician shortage. 

Journal of Nursing Administration
November, 2013

We would also like to call your attention to the study Residency Programs for New Nurse Graduates: How Widespread are They and What are the Primary Obstacles to Further Adoption? by Polly Pittman, Carolina Herrera, Emily Bass and Pamela Thompson. This study examines the prevalence of hospital RN residences, what types of hospitals have RN residencies, how RN residencies are funded and the barriers to establishing  RN residency programs. Of the 219 hospitals surveyed, 36.9% offered nurse residencies in 2011. Nurse residencies were more common in urban settings, midsized hospitals, not-for-profit hospitals and hospitals located in the South. Financial costs were the greatest challenge to implementing a nursing residency program.   

All Michigan
November 13, 2013


Certain nurses with additional training could prescribe drugs without doctor approval under a controversial bill approved by the Michigan Senate on Wednesday. Senators voted 20-18 to pass Senate Bill 2, which allows for the licensure of advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs, who can diagnose, treat patients and prescribe drugs without physician supervision. 

Center for the Health Professions
Novermber 13, 2013

Overview of the upcoming work to be conducted at the UCSF Health Workforce Research Center. 

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants
Septmeber, 2013

The study The Changing Physician Assistant Profession: A Gender Shift recently published in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants provides a chronological overview of the evolving of physician assistant (PA) movement. The PA profession began as an opportunity for male Vietnam War veterans to transition into the civilian workforce, and over time transformed into a competitive profession for young, predominantly female college graduates. This paper documents - from the 1960’s through today - the development of the PA profession from historical, cultural, gender, and sociological viewpoints.

St. Louis Post Dispatch
July 14, 2013

A new Missouri law is providing more freedom for physician assistants to care for patients. Advocates hope the change will alleviate the shortage of primary care doctors in Branson, Missouri and across the state — a shortage expected to worsen as the Affordable Care Act expands health care benefits to millions more Americans.

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine
July, 2013


The U.S. physician workforce is struggling to keep pace with the demand for health care services, a situation that may worsen without efforts to enhance team-based care. More than half of family physicians work with nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or certified nurse midwives, and doing so helps ensure access to health care services, particularly in rural areas.
Southeast Missourian
June 25, 2013

A new Missouri law will allow nurse practitioners to treat patients under a doctor’s supervision using phone, email or video.

April 23, 2013

On Tuesday, April 23rd the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging held the congressional hearing Successful Primary Care Programs: Creating the Workforce We Need. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) chaired this hearing, which focused on potential solutions to shortages in the primary care workforce. Expanding federal support for community health centers, extending funding to Teaching Health Centers (THCs) and expanding the National Health Service Corps were potential solutions that were highlighted in the hearing. A startling statistic from this meeting points out that THCs get $230 million for 5 years, while Medicare GME spends $50 billion to train residents in traditional hospital-based setting over the same period.

University of Minnesota
January, 2013

The National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education is a public-private partnership that contributes to the transformation of health care by identifying ways to improve health, enhance patient care and control costs through integrating interprofessional practice and education. By rigorously aligning and integrating the needs and interests of health professions education with practice, the center aims to create a transformational “nexus” to incubate ideas, define the field, guide program development and research.
December, 2012

10 women professors who reached a $4.65 million settlement with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. They were systematically underpaid as male colleagues outpaced them in salary and promotions — year after year.