Nurse Practitioners and Sexual and Reproductive Health Services. An Analysis of Supply and Demand – RAND – 2012

Posted on July 3, 2012. Filed under: Nursing, Workforce | Tags: , , |

Nurse Practitioners and Sexual and Reproductive Health Services. An Analysis of Supply and Demand – RAND – 2012

by David I. Auerbach et al

“Use of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services is projected to grow between 10 and 20 percent from 2006 to 2020. This growth is driven largely by changes in the racial/ethnic make-up of the population of women of reproductive age and an increase in the number of people with insurance coverage because of new health care legislation.

Trends in supply and demand for SRH services, particularly for low-income individuals, suggest demand will outstrip supply in the next decade. Nurse Practitioners (NPs) with a women’s health focus are key providers of SRH care in Title X-funded clinics, which deliver a significant proportion of U.S. family planning and SRH services to low-income populations. This report looks at why numbers of women’s health NPs (WHNPs) have been declining, and are projected to continue to decline, despite significant growth in total numbers of NPs. Barriers to increasing the supply of NPs competent in SRH care — such as reduced funding for WHNP training, increased funding for primary care and geriatric NP training, and a shrinking proportion of WHNPs choosing to work in public health, clinics, and family planning — are identified.

From the standpoint that the evolution of the health care delivery system may serve as an opportunity to optimize the delivery of SRH services in the United States, a comprehensive set of options spanning education, federal and state regulations, and emerging models of care delivery are explored to reverse this trend of too few WHNPs, particularly for servicing Title X facilities and their patients.”

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