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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 2751-2756

Role of nurse practitioners within health system in India: A case of untapped potential

Regional Resource Hub, HTA, Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad, Public Health Foundation of, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lipika Nanda
VP, MPPH; Director, RRH, HTA, IIPH Hyderabad, PHFI, Madhapur, Hyderabad, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_2283_20

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Nurses form the pillar of India's healthcare system representing 30.5% of the entire health workforce in India. Amidst a significant shortage in the provision of effective primary care, jeopardizing millions of Indians' access to basic healthcare services, especially the poorest, it is very evident that nurse practitioners are the need of the hour in India. The current scenario of nursing in India warrants policy reforms to facilitate nurses as valuable primary care providers. It also shows the path towards making the Health and Wellness Centre operational by creating a pivotal role for the cadre in such centres, and it will also be important for the nurse practitioner to have a public health leadership role in a country like India. With additional training and qualification and also recognition of nurse practitioners as essential healthcare providers, a complete quality healthcare could be provided. In this research paper we assess the need for nurse practitioners as primary contact providers; reflect on the global evidence on nurse practitioners linking to health outcomes, effective coverage and access to services. We also try to contemplate on the training needs, their role in home-based care and as enablers of the referral mechanism, their untapped potential, and a plan for evaluating their effectiveness. This policy research paper focuses to build an argument for a policy towards making nurse practitioners the first contact providers.

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