This paper proposes that community based nurse practitioners are well placed to provide care to acutely ill children. The data provided from a nurse led primary care service in Newcastle upon Tyne illustrate that 98% of children presenting with everyday complaints are effectively treated by a nurse practitioner.
The role of the nurse practitioner in primary care, although innovative, can present challenges to historical practices in the National Health Service. Nevertheless the movement away from conventional roles and service delivery is a strategy that is recommended by current health service reform and policy. (1)
One such reform is the notion that experienced nursing staff can relieve doctors of certain tasks, which according to Pearce, (2) are tasks the medical profession have been doing for many years, that other suitably trained staff could undertake, for example, clinically assessing patients and requesting x ray examinations.
Step forward the nurse practitioner! Nurse practitioners are experienced nurses who, after extensive training, are proficient in certain …