Overworked and understaffed emergency departments in the United Kingdom can confidently turn to experienced nurse practitioners to treat minor injuries that junior doctors (the equivalent of interns in the United States) usually see.
In a new study, researchers at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, England, compared the medical care and clinical outcomes of 704 patients treated by nurse practitioners and 749 patients cared for by junior doctors. Nurse practitioners in the study had at least 4 years of experience in emergency settings and up to 3 years as nurse practitioners. Junior doctors had at least 18 months of work experience.
Voelker R. Safe Emergency Care. JAMA. 1999;282(18):1713. doi:10.1001/jama.282.18.1713